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Adaptations in Nature

Do you know what camouflage is? Have you heard about techniques animals use to scare off the predators? Explore how animals adapt to their wild environment and try out some of their techniques.

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Plan

  • Where will you do this adventure?
  • What materials will you need and who will gather them?
  • How will you form groups of three or four?
  • What do you know about adaptations? How have animals adapted to their environment? How do adaptations help animals survive?
  • What other adaptations could you explore?
  • How many adaptations will each group try?

Do

In your groups, explore different adaptations:

Disappear

  • Imagine you are an animal that lives nearby.
  • Choose a specific part of the environment and design and build a camouflage outfit.

Keep Warm

  • Build a blubber mitten using two re-sealable zipper bags, tape and shortening.
  • Fill one bag with shortening and push another bag into the first one.
  • Make sure the shortening creates a solid layer of “blubber.”
  • Seal it with tape so no water can get in.
  • Put one bare hand in snow or ice-cold water, and then put your hand in the mitten and try the snow or water again.
  • How much of the cold do you feel?
  • What other materials could you use to make a warm mitten?
  • Try some out.

Look Bigger

  • Some animals have a way of making themselves look bigger to scare off predators.
  • What do you notice in the pictures provided by Scouters?
  • Using the available materials, design and build something that can help you look bigger than you are.
  • Find inspiration in the techniques animals use to do this.

Review

  • What do you know now that you did not know before?
  • What did you learn about how animals adapt to their environment?
  • How do adaptations help animals survive?
  • What can we learn from animal adaptations to solve our human problems?
  • What did you like about this adventure?
  • What did you not like? How would you do this adventure differently?
  • How do humans use animal adaptations in their daily lives?

Materials

Disappear In Your Surroundings

  • Pictures of different animal adaptations
  • Construction paper or fabric in different colors
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Newspapers, white cloth or old clothes for base of the outfit to keep warm

Keep Warm

  • Large Ziploc bags
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Other insulating materials such as bubble wrap, feathers or wool
  • Duct tape
  • Towels
  • Ice and water
  • Buckets or tubs

How Big Can You Get?

  • Newspaper
  • Plastic sheets
  • Air pump
  • Measuring tape
  • Long wooden sticks

Keep it Simple

  • Start by playing some games such as hide and seek and see how hard it is to camouflage yourself.

Take it Further

  • Look at other animals in environments that are different from ours such as tropical environments.