Animal Adaptations: Animals in a Habitat

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Animal Habitats


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Activity Overview

While there are many regions well suited for life, and thus have hundreds of species living there, some are difficult to survive in, such as the polar region and the desert. In order to understand the different organism that live in each type of habitat as well as some of the adaptations that make it possible for them to live there, students should create a grid with examples of different living organisms for each environment. Below you will find several different habitats as well as examples of organisms that live there. Students should be encouraged to research each habitat before completing the storyboard.

To make this activity more challenging for your more advanced students, have them identify how these animals are adapted for survival in their habitat. To make this activity easier or provide an alternative to the activity, print out the example storyboard, cut it up and have students sort the animals into the correct habitat. This modification could be completed individually or as a group.

Animal Habitats

The polar region is a very difficult place to survive in. Polar regions are the areas surrounding each pole (North and South) of the Earth. They are well known for being very cold with average winter temperatures of -40°C (-40°F) in the Arctic and -60°C (-76°F) in Antarctica. In the summer it gets a bit warmer, with average temperatures of 0°C (32°F) in the Arctic and -28°C (-18°F) in the Antarctic. These low temperatures require animals to have adaptations that allow them to survive. Animals such as the polar bear, the beluga whale, and the arctic fox can all survive in polar regions.

The rainforest is an area categorized by high rainfall. Tropical rainforests are home to millions of different species of living things; they are areas of large biodiversity. As well as a high amount of rainfall, tropical rainforests have high average temperatures. The Amazon rainforest, located in the north of South America, has an average temperature of 26°C (80°F). The Toco toucan, jaguar, and heliconia are living things that can be found in the tropical rainforest.

The African Savanna is a tropical grassland habitat with high year round temperatures (20-30°C) and a large amount of rainfall in the summer (with 25-75 cm falling annually). Although there is a large amount of grass growth, there isn’t a large tree population. This environment supports a large, varied, and diverse community of living things. Termites, the umbrella acacia, and zebras are examples of living things that live in the African Savanna.

The desert is another place where life struggles to survive. There are four major deserts in the United States: the Great Basin Desert, the Mojave Desert, the Sonoran Desert, and the Chihuahuan Desert. They are all categorized as deserts because they receive very little precipitation. As well as having very little water, they also can have extreme high temperatures during the day and extreme low temperatures at night. The animals and plants that have adapted to survive in these harsh environments do so by using little water and surviving the extreme temperatures.

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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard where you provide examples of different living organisms from a given environment.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Research different organisms that live in polar regions, rainforests, the African savanna, and the American desert.
  3. Pick three organisms for each habit and add photos by using the search bar. Try to include a wide range of organisms, not just animals.
  4. Add rows to the storyboard for each additional habitat.
  5. Write the name of the organism in the description box.
  6. Save and submit the assignment.
3 Examples Chart


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