Discussion of Adaptation
Back to Dinosaurs and Us Unit Lesson Plans
- Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
- Subject Area: Science
Students will synthesize the information they gathered at the museum to discuss ways in which dinosaurs adapted to their environments. Students will also apply the same logic to an analysis of human habitat, survival needs, and survival need fulfillment to understand how people have adapted to their environment.
- Learn about the concept of adaptation.
- Apply the concept of adaption to humans.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: None.
- Review students findings from Lesson One. Have students synthesize their findings to answer the question of how dinosaurs adapted to their environment. Be sure to note the difference between adaptations that are purely physical, such as sharp teeth or being able to running fast, and ones that are behavioral or social, such as hunting in packs. As part of the discussion, talk about how the extinction of dinosaurs provided information on how they adapted to their environment.
- After the class has generated a list of dinosaur adaptations, have students break into small groups to answer the same set of questions for people:
- What survival needs do we have (food, shelter, safety, etc.)?
- What types of places do people live in (forests, desserts, cities, farms, etc.)?
- How do people meet these needs?
- Have students reconvene as a whole group and share their findings about the survival needs humans have, how the meet them, and the types of habitats people live in. From this information have students develop a list of adaptations that humans have made to meet their needs.