A beetle that drinks fog. A flower that smells like rotting meat. A fish that “shoots down” its prey. Are these plants and animals for real? In this activity, your students will discover extraordinary plants and animals, and will gain insight on how they are uniquely adapted to environmental conditions.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Teacher Page: Who's Who?
Amazing Animals and Plants
Spanish Student Page(s):
Animales y Plantas Sorprendentes
Quien es Quien
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
Developed by the Smithsonian National Zoo, the Migration Game tests students on their knowledge about bird migration. Depending on their answers, students will either help or hinder Wanda the Wood Thrush get from her winter home in Costa Rica to her summer home in Maryland. Pair the online quiz with our article How Plants and Animals Prepare for Winter and its links to more resources, along with writing prompts and research project ideas, to enrich the learning of your students on the topics of migration, changing seasons, and hibernation.
Foldable Paper Microscopes
Foldscope is a foldable microscope made mostly of paper that achieves the goal of being less than one U.S. dollar in parts to produce. These origami microscopes weigh less than 10 grams and provide the magnification power of your standard classroom microscope. Produced by Foldscope Instruments, the company’s mission is to produce low-cost scientific tools that globally expand access to science.
Can Birds Act Like Grandparents?
MSNBC article explains that scientists have observed senior birds behaving like grandparents. Although it is rare in the animal kingdom except in humans, the findings could help scientists understand how grand-parenting develops.
Adaptation for Who’s Who Quiz
Adaptation for Who’s Who quiz that includes species from all six kingdoms.
Global Invasive Species Database
The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) aims to reduce threats to natural ecosystems and the native species they contain by increasing awareness of invasive alien species and of ways to prevent, control, or eradicate them. The ISSG facilitates the exchange of invasive species information across the globe and ensures the linkage between knowledge, practice, and policy so that decision making is informed. To support these efforts, ISSG has compiled a list of “100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.” View photos and learn more about these species’ habitats, impacts, uses, and the geographical range.
Nature’s Sound Map
Nature’s Sound Map is an interactive tool that allows you to listen to clips of nature all over the world. The sounds range from those of an individual animal to entire ecosystems.
Fire and Conservation Interactive Quiz
Get fired up and take The Nature Conservancy’s online quiz to test your knowledge about fire and how it can be used as a tool to help people and wildlife. A scoring chart helps you to find local volunteer opportunities and other ideas for voicing your support for more American forest restoration by being fire smart!
EPA’s Save our Species
This free coloring book will introduce you to 21 endangered and threatened plants and animals found in the United States. Print the pages and use your crayons to bring to life oceans, swamps, deserts, islands and a variety of plants and animals. If we all work together, we can continue to share the earth with these fascinating and important species and enjoy them in the wild — not only in the pages of books. Free posters also available.
Arkive’s Wildlife Images
At this award-winning website from Wildscreen USA, teachers can access more than 40,000 digital wildlife images and 6,000 wildlife films. Images can be searched either by species or geography or by type of image. In addition, the site’s education pages include resources for teaching animal classification along with educational games.
Amazing Animals and Creature Features
These online resources from National Geographic for Kids present animal information in an interactive way. Targeted at elementary students, the website features clickable facts and photos of more than 40 animal species from Adelie penguins to zebras. Users can watch videos of the animals, find maps showing where each animal lives, and print out a collector’s card for any animal described.
ARKive’s “Survival” App
Use your mobile device to race against the clock in a battle for survival! Tap, drag, scroll, swipe and pinch your way through a series of quick-fire mini-games to reveal the identity of some of the world’s most endangered animals. Full of real-life photographs, this fun and educational application tests speed, agility, endurance and intelligence, essential skills needed to become a Top Survivor.
Endangered Species Interactive Map
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has launched a web-based interactive map with information about endangered species success in every state: stories of species making strides towards recovery, audio interviews and podcasts with biologists about on-the-ground endangered species conservation, and more.
American Bird Conservancy Video: Go Birding, Save Species!
Enjoy this one-minute video featuring our favorite feathered friends. Can you identify all of these spectacular birds? Visit www.conservationbirding.org for the full species list. The video was created to showcase the American Bird Conservancy’s web site that enables birders to find birding routes and lodges that support habitat protection. Go birding to celebrate Earth Day!
A free app that can be downloaded onto any Apple device (try iBird Lite for Android). Use WildLab Bird to learn the basics of bird identification. This application uses audio, photographs, maps, and the process of elimination to help identify over 200 bird species. Sightings can also be entered into a national bird watching database for comparison.
Habitat the Game
The Wildlife Conservation Society and Rainforest Alliance have created a free, new app designed for students 7-12. Habitat challenges students to care for virtual endangered animals while they earn points by completing real-life missions, like recycling or visiting a park zoo.
Giant deadly hornets, gorgeous fluttering butterflies, and stealthy crawling stink bugs: discover these and more fascinating insects in Expedition: Insects, an e-book written, illustrated, and animated by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Students will learn about sic different types of insects in natural habitats around the world and how evolution and adaptation is responsible for the insects’ characteristics. Download an interactive version of the e-book for free on iBooks or read the non-interactive PDF version online.