Major Funding The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

Animal Adaptation: Standards

Idaho Common Core State Standards

Here are correlations to the National Common Core Language and Math standards and to the Idaho State Science Standards. If you'd like, you may go directly to the Idaho science standards for this topic. For more information about the overall standards, see the complete Idaho Content Standards for Science, the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core Language standards, or the Common Core Math standards.


Second Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3 [CCSS page]

Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

Suggested Lesson:

Using the San Diego Zoo's Adaptations Connection guide (pp 31-34), write a story about what happens when a predator and prey animal meet, describing how the animal uses its special adaptation.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4 [CCSS page]

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

Suggested Lesson:

Read the informational text for 4th grade entitled Adaptation and Survival. Select five vocabulary words from the text to define and explain.

Sixth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2. [CCSS page]

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Suggested Lesson:

Following the procedure outlined in Scholastic's Animal Adaptations lesson, select an animal and write a report on the way it is adapted to its environment.



CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 [CCSS page]

Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.

Suggested Lesson:

Color and cut out butterflies that are red, green and yellow (some the color of grass or indoor carpet, others in contrasting colors.) Scatter the butterflies on the grass or carpet and retrieve them within 15 seconds. Count and compare the number of camouflaged-colored butterflies collected with the number of contrasting-colored butterflies.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.5 and B.6 [CCSS page]

Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, using strategies based on place value. Find whole-number quotients with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value.

Suggested Lesson:

Use this Amazing Animal Senses chart. Using facts comparing animal and human senses, determine how much more acute a particular animal's given sense is than a human's. Examples: catfish have 100,000 taste receptors and human have 10,000. Mice can hear frequencies of 1,000 Hz and humans can hear frequencies of 20 Hz. Elephants have 2,000 scent receptors and humans have 400.

Fifth Grade


Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. Find whole-number quotients of whole numbers with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors.

Suggested Lesson:

Use Migration Math (step 3) as a model. Given a migrating bird's speed and the length of its journey, determine how long it will take to make the migration journey.



Life Sciences: LS1-K-1 [CCSS page]

Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals need to survive.

Supporting Content:

All living things need food and water to live and grow. Examples could include the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals, the requirement of plants to have light; and, that all living things need water.

First Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-1-1 [CCSS page]

Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

Supporting Content:

Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food. Examples of human problems that can be solved by mimicking plants or animal solutions could include designing clothing or equipment to protect bicyclists by mimicking turtle shells and animal scales; stabilizing structures by mimicking animal tails, keeping out intruders by mimicking animal quills, and detecting intruders by mimicking animal eyes and ears.

Life Sciences: LS1-1-2 [CCSS page]

Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.

Supporting Content:

Adult animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and offspring engage in behaviors that help offspring to survive.

Second Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-2-2 [CCSS page]

Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Supporting Content:

Plants depend on animals to move their seeds around. Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models.

Life Sciences: LS2-2-1 [CCSS page]

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Supporting Content:

There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. Emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of specific habitats.

Third Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-3-1 [CCSS page]

Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

Supporting Content:

Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes. Groups may serve different functions and vary in size.

Life Sciences: LS2-3-1 [CCSS page]

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group.

Supporting Content:

Many characteristics of organisms are inherited from their parents.

Fourth Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-4-1 [CCSS page]

Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction.

Supporting Content:

Animals have various body parts and systems with specific functions for sustaining life.

Fifth Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-5-2 [CCSS page]

Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics in a species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

Supporting Content:

Examples could be plants that have larger thorns may be less likely to be eaten by predators; and animals that have better camouflage coloration may be more likely to survive and therefore more likely to leave offspring. Populations of animals are classified by their characteristics.

Life Sciences: LS2-5-3 [CCSS page]

Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Supporting Content:

Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved.

Life Sciences: LS2-5-4 [CCSS page]

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there change.

Supporting Content:

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organism living there. When the environment changes in ways that affect a habitat, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, others move into the transformed environment, and some die.

Sixth Grade/Middle School

Life Sciences: LS4-MS-3 [CCSS page]

Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the anatomical structures across multiple species of similar classification levels to identify relationships.

Supporting Content:

Emphasis is on inferring general patterns of relatedness among structures of different organisms.

Life Sciences: LS4-MS-4 [CCSS page]

Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variation of traits increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

Supporting Content:

Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population, and the suppression of others. Emphasis is on using concepts of natural selection like passage of time, selection of favorable traits, and heritability of traits.

Life Sciences: LS4-MS-6 [CCSS page]

Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increase and decreases of specific traits in populations over time

Supporting Content:

Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become more common; those that do not become less common. Emphasis is on using mathematical models, probability statements, and proportional reasoning to support explanations of trends in changes to populations over time. Examples could include peppered moth population changes before and after the industrial revolution.

Life Sciences LS2-MS-5 [CCSS page]

Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Supporting Content:

Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in its populations. Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.

Life Sciences LS2-MS-6 [CCSS page]

Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Supporting Content:

Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth's terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem's biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.

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