Birds and Their Habitats





Name of Activity Birds and Their Habitats
Author Emma Coltoff, Pami Anderson
Keywords animal, adaptations, habitat, birds, climate
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students are assigned a habitat and must sketch a bird with physical traits that are essential to surviving in that habitat.
Lesson Objectives: identifying birds for certain habitats, emphasizing observed characteristics of animals that are fully inherited and characteristics that are affected by the climate or environment
Materials Needed: Worksheet and writing utensils
Preparation and Set Up: Assign habitats to groups/pairs within the class. Give background on the habitats.
  1. Introduce the six habitats:
    1. Wetlands
    2. Arctic
    3. Desert
    4. Rainforest
    5. Aquatic
    6. Grasslands
  2. Assign each of the habitats to a group of students.
  3. Help the students to sketch a bird and label the characteristics of the bird that are essential to its survival in that particular habitat.
Modifications: * Add more habitats
* Have students label which traits are inherited and which are adapted
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Animal Adaptations
Reference 1

Adaptations Box





Name of Activity Adaptations Box
Author Emma Coltoff, Pami Anderson
Keywords animal, adaptations, habitat
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description (less than 1 hour)
STOMPers lead students in selecting physical character traits for an animal that can survive in the chosen habitat.
See link for reference:
Lesson Objectives: to understand different physical character traits/adaptations necessary for specific habitats
Materials Needed: 1-2 shoeboxes, colored paper (for fur), cotton balls (fat), felt (feet), googly eyes (two sizes), pipe cleaners (ears), paper plate (head), popsicle sticks (neck), other (additional body parts), tape
Preparation and Set Up: attach paper plate head and neck to shoebox
Necessary Background Basic understanding of which characteristics are necessary for which habitats and why.
  1. Select habitat
  2. Pick two students as volunteers to attach body parts to “body” (shoebox)
  3. Go through options for feet, ears, eyes, etc. with discussion of why one choice is the best
Modifications: Additional body parts can be added as deemed necessary.
Online Reference(s)
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Animal Adaptations

Pet Training Activity


Name of Activity NXT Pet Training Activity – (Intro to Touch Sensor)
Author Leticia’s Group
Keywords NXT, animal, touch sensor
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 6
Time 4+ Hours Total
Brief Description This activity is designed for 6th graders to practice “training their animal robot” by using the touch sensor. Students brainstorm tricks for animal NXT robots. The level of difficulty can vary based on their familiarity with the touch sensor and estimated to last two weeks.
Lesson Objectives: Introduce students to the touch sensor by asking them to explore its properties through different ways of training your pet dog. It would require them to go through the design process and think through the ways we train our pets and how those commands can be translated and applied to the NXT animal robotics. Important for them to think about what sort of commands they are capable of programming that would work well on the robot.
Materials Needed: LEGO NXTS
Procedure The point of this activity is to train your pet dog using touch sensors. Some of the activities could be to see what happens or how the animal robot reacts when you pet its head or tail. One of the students tasks or goals should be to be able to program their robot so that when the touch sensor is pressed once it does a command and then pressing twice it does a different command. Possible solutions for them could be to get their robots to lift and shake a hand, twirl around, potentially use their sound sensor to bark, or wag their tail.

The Perfect Puppy





Name of Activity The Perfect Puppy
Author Alison Boreiko
Keywords NXT, introduction to robotics, animal, dog, programming, sensors
Subject NXTs, LEGO Building
Grade Level 5
Time 3 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will combine their knowledge of sensors, programming and building to create their “perfect puppy.”
Lesson Objectives: -Teach students to program with more than one sensor
Materials Needed: -Project Proposal Worksheet
-NXT kits
-*optional: Craft Supplies (for decorating the dog)
Preparation and Set Up: -Make copies of the Project Proposal Worksheets (1 per group)
Procedure 1. Give instructions: Students are to design a pet dog. The dog should use two sensors to mimic dog behavior. 2. Have the students fill out a project proposal form. It’s important that they clearly explain which behavior they wish to mimic and how they will go about mimicking it with the NXT. Demand precision and specificity in their project proposals. 3. Once a group has had their proposal approved, give them their NXT kit and their laptop so they can get to work!
Extensions: Students can continue to develop their robotic dogs.

Animal Adaptations





Name of Activity Animal Adaptations
Author Emily Ryan
Keywords animal adaptations, environments, design, build, unique, animal, animals, found materials, adapt, modeling
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description This activity explores animal’s adaptations to their environments. Students will look at
animal adaptations and then design and build their own unique animal that could live
in their backyard.
Lesson Objectives: To teach students about animals and why they have certain adaptations for
particular environments.
To teach students to design and build a model based on particular constraints.
Materials Needed: pipe cleaners
popsicle sticks
any available building materials
Preparation and Set Up: Gather an assortment of building materials (can use LEGOs or not).
Collect some research on animals and their adaptations.
Pictures of an environment that the animals need to adapt to.
If desired, break students into groups of 2 – 4.
Distribute materials to students.
Necessary Background Animals adapt to their environment in many different ways. The most evident adaptation
is color and texture. Camouflage is used by many animals to protect themselves from
predators. Some examples include tree frogs, polar bears, and iguanas. Animals may also
be colored to make them appear to be something they are not. Moths and butterflies
often have coloration that makes their wings look like eyes. Animals also adapt to their
environment. Giraffes developed long necks to allow them to reach food at the tops
of trees. Arctic foxes have snow white coats during the winter which they shed to
reveal a light brown coat for the summer months


  1. Introduce animal adaptations to students, giving examples of familiar and unfamiliar animals that have different adaptations that help them live in a particular environment.
    1. The attached document labeled AnimalAdaptPres.pdf can be used to present info on animal adaptations to students
  2. Tell students that their backyards have a certain environment.
    1. Have students brainstorm some aspects of their backyard environments including:
      1. Space.
      2. Available foods.
      3. Places to make a home.
      4. Year round temperature.
      5. Dangers (pets/cars/people)
    2. If time, let students draw a picture of their backyard.
  3. Distribute building materials and tell students to build a model of an animal that might live in their backyard. Tell the students to build the animal with adaptations for the environment in their backyard.
  4. At the end of class, have students or student groups present their animal to the class.
    1. Students should mention the adaptations that the animal has.
    2. Students should explain how their animal moves, behaves, what it eats, where it lives, etc.
Reference 1

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