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Science Lessons

A common topic that needs to be covered in intermediate science lessons is animal adaptations. This is a fascinating subject, and one most children have not given much thought to. A multitude of interesting and hands-on science lessons exist to help your students understand the concept of how animals have adapted to their environments. Your students will be thrilled to be involved in these fun experiments to help them learn more about animal adaptations.

Children are often fascinated with polar bears and whales. There is a simple lesson you can do to help them understand how these animals stay warm, even in the face of extremely cold conditions. Fill 2 containers with water and ice. Fill a gallon sized ziploc bag with vegetable shortening. Put your hand inside of a quart sized ziploc and insert it into the shortening bag, to create a pocket students can put their hands into. Students take turns seeing how long they can keep their hand in the ice water alone vs. when their hand is inside of the shortening bag. This will lead to a discussion of animal blubber and how it has helped arctic animals adapt to the cold. The kids are always amazed at the difference!

Your science lessons will be further enhanced by the inclusion of this fun activity highlighting bird beak adaptations. This lesson focuses on how different bird beaks are adapted to fit the types of animals they eat. Create a few different bird centers, such as: plastic ants in wood chips (tweezers for beaks); gummy worms in sand (chopsticks for beaks); Swedish fish in water (spoons for beaks). You can create small groups and give each student a fixed amount of time to see how many of each food item they can get. It is also advantageous to have them try to get the different items using the wrong beak, and see what happens. These science lessons will help your students become more aware of the specific adaptations animals need to survive in their different environments, and will excite your students about science in general!

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