Name of Activity Animal Body Parts/Behaviors
Author STOMP
Keywords animals, science, body parts, behaviors
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Help students understand specific developments and adaptations that help animals to survive.
Lesson Objectives: This lesson helps students identify the body parts and behaviors characteristic to specific animals that contribute to its survival.
Materials Needed: Whiteboard/chalkboard
LEGO pieces
pictures or videos of relevant animals (e.g. beaver)
Necessary Background -How animals adapt to various environments

1. Introduce body parts/behaviors that help animals function using beaver example. Ask the students to make observations of the beaver picture/video. (5 min)

tail – steers while swimming, stores fat/heat

feet – webbed feet for swimming

teeth – large chiseled teeth, cut wood, lips close behind front teeth (allow eating underwater/keep wood pieces out of mouth)

oxygen – slow O2 circulation, large lungs

fur – keeps warm in cold weather, oil helps insulate

2. In groups of 2 or 3, have students pick a wild animal. Have students identify required body parts that contribute to survival (10 min)

3. Using Legos, have students build the specific body part(s) of the animal that was described in 2. (30 min)

4. Animal behaviors that contribute to ecosystem function – have students think of their own

(10 min)

- squirrels stow nuts, some of these turn into trees

- wolves: predators, population control

- spiders: eat bugs

- worms: help make soil

Previous Activity (if applicable) Intro to Ecosystems
Attachment 1 NXT Animals worksheet
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Basic Science (Animals + Matter)

One Response to Animal Body Parts & Behaviors

  1. Healey Elementary School; Classroom: Mrs. Cannatella- 4th grade

    My partner and I did an activity to introduce animal behaviors and how to adapt them into NXT robotics. We made a worksheet for our classroom and on the worksheet they first had to come up with an example of a specific habitat and then write down what animals would be in that habitat and which animal body parts they would use to meet any needs they might have. For example in a swamp habitat there might be an elephant and an elephant would use their trunk to drink water. The last column on that portion of the worksheet would ask them to think about and strategize what parts of a NXT robot and what sensor they could use on their robot for it to be able to represent the animal behavior and body part. We asked them to repeat this process two more times so that they have three habitats. The second page of the worksheet they were asked to draw a sketch of what they wanted their robot to look like basing off of the ideas they had previously listed in the first portion of the worksheet. They robot they drew could either represent an actual animal or they could invent a fictional animal composed of parts of real animals. Their robot had to include the NXT brick, at least one motor, and one sensor. They finished the worksheet by describing their animal in 2 sentences, explaining its habitat and how they will model the behavior with NXT parts. They were allowed to fill this worksheet out with their partners. We noticed that they did not have any trouble with the first two columns of the worksheet but then they struggled to make the connection between how to model certain animal parts/behavior using NXT pieces- motors & sensors. We would help them by giving them other examples and then leading them up to the example they had written down. This activity only took a week, but in the weeks that followed when they had to build their NXT robot, we would emphasize going back to their worksheet and building off of that design model they had and incorporate the ideas they had written down on that worksheet. A problem I think they had was not fully understanding what some of the sensors did even after we tried different ways to explain the sensors. Since they struggled to understand, they were restricted in modeling animal behaviors and body parts. Also, by the time they finished their robots, they noticed and realized they didn’t look exactly like the sketches they had drawn.

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