The Most Fascinating Animal Adaptation Project


Looking for a fun way to combine life science and writing? This animal adaptation project is an absolute student favorite. Students will laugh while learning about how animals adapt to their environment, and write either informational or persuasive pieces on what human life would be like with these adaptations.

The Research:

To begin, students need to conduct research on various animal adaptations. My all time favorite way to gather this information is with the “What If You Had…” animal adaptation series by Sandra Markle.

I read these books aloud to the class, and while I am reading, we take notes on each animal adaptation and what it helps the animal accomplish. We read and take notes on just one book per day.

The Writing:

After we have taken notes on the animal adaptations, we take one day to plan/draft for each animal. Depending on the time of the year, we switch between opinion or informational writing. If it is opinion writing, they are trying to convince their reader on WHY that adaptation is the best one. If it is informational writing, they are writing about what they could accomplish if they also had that adaptation.

Be sure to ALWAYS model at least one paragraph for your students, so that expectations are clear from the start.

The Final Project:

Students will then take the pieces that they researched and turn it into a hysterical craft and a book, with a table of contents, glossary and index. These make GREAT talking pieces at conferences or a hysterical bulletin board in your hallway.

Distance Learning:

Displaced from your classroom? This makes a GREAT at home project. Simply print out the planning, draft and publishing pages (or upload them to Google Classroom). Then, record yourself reading each book aloud. Students can use your video to take notes on what animal adaptations they would pick. Then, when students complete the project, they can record a video of themselves reading their book aloud, and the rest of the class can leave comments on their video. I love to use SeeSaw to upload videos, but this can also be done on Google Classroom.

Science Component:

Teaching all about life science? Hop over to my blog to read about my life science ideas.

Life Science Unit

Grab What You Need:

What If You Had Animal Adaptations Writing Unit

Animal Adaptation Writing Project

Life Science Unit

Life Science Unit

What If You Had Animal Series

Please also note, there are Amazon affiliate links included in the blog post above. However, I have only recommended resources that I have actually used tried and true in my classroom for YEARS.

Questions? Extension ideas? Drop a comment below!

Emily - The Mountain Teacher

Share your thoughts...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *