Monday, November 28, 2011

Annotated Bib - Animal Adaptations

Adaptation is defined as a body part or behavior that helps an animal meet its needs in its environment.Regarding physical adaptations we find mimicry or camouflage, this helps animals adapt to their own environment. On the other side, behavioral adaptations help animals to respond to life needs. Among this kind of adaptation we find hibernation, migration, instinct and also, learned behavior.


Animal Camouflage in
the Ocean:
By Martha E.H Rustad. 2009. 24p. Pebble Plus, (978-1429633253). Gr 1-5.
This is a book of easy reading for all ages that explains in a simple way what is camouflage by showing different examples of animal camouflage in the ocean. For each example the book offers a brief explanation on how this adaptations helps the specific animal and a image of the animal hiding.

How Animals Eat:
By Pamela Hickman. Illus by Pat Stephens. 2001. 32p. Kids can Press (978-1554530311). Gr 1-5.
This book describe different behavioral adaptation on how animals eat. It shows how each animal is prepare to eat and capture their preys in a specific way which is an adaptation to their own nature and needs. What is interesting is that for many animals the book provides a brief information card that points out the animal behavior and some physical characteristics of it according to the environment where the animal lives and the preys it has to capture. Finally, at the beginning there is a food chain that it has to be combine and at the end you can find the answers.

Counting in the Oceans:
Fredrichk L. McKissack and Lisa Berginger McKissack. 2009. 32p. Enslow Elementary (978-0766029941). Gr 1-5.
The book starts with a presentation of the ocean biomas and where they can be find. Through the rest of the book, children can count from one to ten as they read about the different animals and features of the ocean. This summary of each animal explains the main characteristics of it and their behavioral giving examples of different adaptations. It also gives information on their environment.

Counting in the Rain Forest:
Fredrichk L. McKissack and Lisa Berginger McKissack. 2008. 32p. Enslow Elementary (978-0766029927). Gr 1-5.
Similar to the previous book, this book starts with a presentation of the rain forest biomas, its characteristics and where they can be find. Through the rest of the book, children can count from one to ten as they read about the different animals, plants and features of the tropical rain forest. The summary of each animal explains the main characteristics of each it, their behavioral and gives some examples of different adaptations. It also gives information on their environment.

Where in the Wild?
David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy. Illus by Dwinfht Kuhn. 2011. 44p. Trycycle Press (978-1582463995). Gr 1-3.
The main topic of the book is camouflage. At the beginning there is an explanation about camouflage and how this adaptation is useful for animals. What is interesting about it is that kids will be challenge in finding the animal in the precise moment they are hiding by their camouflage. So, on the left side of the book there will be a poetic explanation on the animal and the situation and on the right side, they will be able to check if they have found the animal. They will have to unfold and lift the page in order to see the place where the animal is located. This is an interesting and fun way to teach this physical adaptation that will catch the student's attention.

Web Sites:

Camouflage Game:
In this website, the students will be playing a game where they are asked to choose an animal and then, dress that animal in a camouflage way by also creating its environment. Finally, they will have to submit their representations and check out if they were ok. In case they were not, a note will appear encouraging the student to try again and explaining why it wasn't giving a clue for the correction.

Discovering Galapagos:
The website offers a whole activity where first there is a presentation of Darwin and his trip to Galapagos. Then the action begins and there are 3 different levels, each level has 2 steps, an activity and an investigation section where they show how useful are some adaptations for different animals in the galapagos. Finally, they offer a task to do a presentation after the students has finished the whole step, in order to put everything together. For this, the site offers some good tips and advice on how preparing a presentation. For example, on level 1 the students will be asked to investigate the island looking for clues to find a mysterious animal offering a vocabulary section. Besides, the children will have to keep a discovery journal and when they find each clue some questions are asked as a guide to complete the journal. On level two, the children will have to choose a type or tortoise and then match the different tortoises to their specific environment where they live in the islands depending on how they adapt to each living conditions. Finally, level 3 the students receive a letter and a box with some clues on it about a tortoise shell. They are asked 3 questions and to prove if it is authentic and if they do so, the owners of this treasure will donate the sample of this tortoise shell.

This website is specifically for kids. Here you will find whole section of games where an adaptation game is offered. Also, a quiz and an activity that propose the student to write about life in the arctic is related to the adaptation game.. Under the homework help section you will find for example a whole description of the Blanchard Cricket Frog where they expose all the information on this animal such us characteristics, environment, behavioral and physical adaptations (hibernates), and where they can be find. Finally, the site provides a Biodiversity Slide Show where different animals are shown with a description on it of physical and behavioral characteristics.

This site is all about hibernation and the processes of sleeping in animals. It is more instructional and in a reading way rather than in a practical way such us a game. But it has good information, examples of animals in each section and good definitions. What is practical that along the readings there are some vocabulary words highlighted that you can click on them and go to the glossary section where a definition of the term will be offered.

Teaching Adaptation Game:
This is an instructional game where a classroom is presented. First, the student will choose which animal he wants to learn about. Then, the teacher will present the animal and its behavioral or physical adaptation. Finally, the student will have to identify the clue given in the teacher's explanation in order to decide which need is been fulfilled by this specific characteristic of the animal.

For Teachers:
3.4 The student will investigate and understand that adaptations allow animals to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment. Key concepts include:
  • behavioral adaptations
  • physical adaptations.
Understanding the Knowledge:
  • In order to survive, animals act in different ways to gather and store food, find shelter, defend themselves, and rear their young.
  • Physical adaptations help animals survive in their environment (e.g., camouflage, mimicry).
  • Various animals possess adaptations which help them blend into their environments to protect themselves from enemies (camouflage). Camouflage is the means by which animals escape the notice of predators, usually because of a resemblance to their surroundings using coloration or outer coverage patterns.
  • Mimicry occurs when a species has features similar to another species. Either one or both are protected when a third species cannot tell them apart. (Mimicry happens in both animal and plant species.) Some animals look like other animals to avoid being eaten (mimicry). This adaptation helps protect them from their predators. (For example, the viceroy butterfly tastes good to birds, but the monarch butterfly tastes bad. Because the viceroy looks like the monarch butterfly, it is safer from predators.) Mimicry can also occur as mimicked behaviors, mimicked sounds, or mimicked scents.
  • Behavioral adaptations allow animals to respond to life needs. Examples include hibernation, migration, dormancy, instinct, and learned behavior.
  • Some animals (e.g., groundhogs, black bears) go into a deep sleep in which their body activities slow down due to seasonal changes and they can live off stored food (hibernation). Hibernation is a condition of biological rest or inactivity where growth, development, and metabolic processes slow down.
  • Some animals (e.g., geese, monarch butterflies, tundra swans) go on a long-distance journey from one place to another (migration) in search of a new temporary habitat because of climate, availability of food, season of the year, or reproduction
  • Dormancy is a state of reduced metabolic activity adopted by many organisms (both plants and animals) under conditions of environmental stress or, when such stressful conditions are likely to appear, as in winter.
  • Some animals are born with natural behaviors that they need in order to survive in their environments (instincts). These behaviors are not learned but are instinctive, such as a beaver building a dam or a spider spinning a web.
  • Some behaviors need to be taught in order for the animal to survive, such as a bear cub learning to hunt (learned behavior).

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