Animal Adaptation

Creative Communicator


Using the Build Your Wild Self website, students will demonstrate their knowledge about animal adaptation. Depending on the environment that the animal lives in, they have had to adapt to live there. Students will create a self-portrait avatar and mix in animal body parts that are adaptable to the environment that they have been assigned to. 

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Be able to navigate through an interactive website.
  • Be able to create a self-portrait/animal mix avatar.
  • Understand animal adaptations.


Vocabulary Words:

  1. Avatar: An avatar is an animated picture that represents a person.

  2. Adaptation: An adaptation is a body part or feature or a behavior that helps a living thing survive and function better in its environment.


To prepare for this lesson:

  • Visit the Build Your Wild Self website. You will have to  enable flash to make it run. 
  • Build yourself an avatar wild self to share with the students. 
  • Watch the video Animal Adaptations and determine if appropriate to use with your students. 
  • Have the students research and choose an ecosystem and its animals. 
  • The students should study the structural adaptations of the animals and the functions of each structure so that they are able to easily build a wild self. 



The teacher will do a lesson on adaptation. The students will be assigned or allowed to choose an ecosystem. The students will research the ecosystem and its animals. The students will learn about adaptations that occur to help animals survive and function better in their environment. 

After completing the introductory lesson:

  1. The students will be introduced to the Build Your Wild Self website. 
  2. The teacher will share the avatar they have created with their students. 
  3. The teacher will discuss animal body parts, identify which animals they belong to and what their purposes might be, what habitat this creature would be able to live in and habitats they would not be able to live in.
  4. The teacher will Introduce/discuss vocabulary words: avatar and adaptation.
  5. Demonstrate how to use the website.
  6. Allow the students time to create. 
  7. Students should create and save or print.


  1. Students read the “What’s Wild about You” section to learn about their body parts /adaptations.
  2. Small groups of students can share and discuss their avatar.

Note: Use the Common Sense lesson on adaptation and digital citizenship. 

Assessment Options

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Students work collaboratively to create a habitat where these adaptations would be needed for their survival.
  • Students write a paragraph about the habitat their avatar would live in, the food they would eat, how these adaptations help them survive etc.
  • Fill out a worksheet with the following:
    • Name the Creature
    • Common and Scientific Name
    • Habitat
    • How long it will live
    • The size
    • What it eats
    • Adaptations
    • Fun fact about the new animal


MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Creative Communicator
6a. Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
6b. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
6c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Devices and Resources

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

Flash must be enabled for this site to work

Animal Adaptation

Build Your Wild Self

Common Sense Lesson on Adaptation and Digital Citizenship



Students write a paragraph or short writing piece on their new animal. 

  • They can write a story about it and share with the other students. 


  • Students research ecosystems and habitats.
  • Students research animals and their habitats. 

Social Studies

  • The teacher will share a world map with students and show them where their different species of animals live.
  • The teacher will share the different environments and adaptations that animals have had to make to live in those regions. 

This task card was created by Kimberly Peltier, Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools, November 2018.