Wild Kratts Creaturepedia and Animal Adaptations

AAAS Science Netlinks
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



Students use the Kratts' Creatures "Creaturepedia" to gather information about the adaptations of animals from different environments. Students are then prompted with a series of questions around how an animal's relocation might affect its ability to survive before considering the relationship between a well adapted animal, its environment, and how it came to be so well adapted.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Grade 3
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

3-LS4-3 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.

Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Teachers should be sure to have students construct arguments from the information they gather through research and animal adaptation comparisons from different habitats. Asking students to consider how adaptations help animals survive and what would happen if they lived in a different type of habitat is encouraged.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students could be required to make claims about the animals and the adaptations that they research. A focus question might be: What physical and behavioral features of animals best support their survival in their habitat? What would happen if they lived in a different habitat?

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The Core Idea is explicit because students research adaptations that allow animals to survive in their habitats and compare them. Then they make claims about what would happen if the animals lived in different habitats. Would they be able to survive?

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Form and function are not explicitly addressed in this lesson. However, the teacher can introduce this crosscutting concept and ask about similar features between animals in different habitats (e.g., ears of the desert fox and ears of the red fox, which lives in the forest). Why are their ears (which both have the same function) shaped differently?

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Alignment to the DCI is strong, however connections to the practices and cross-cutting concepts are not as clear.

  • Instructional Supports: Multiple, varied scenarios that allow students to explore this concept in many ways are not provided. Instructional supports for all learners are not included.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: A performance assessment is included. Students select an animal and choose a new habitat to which they think the animal could possibly adapt. They describe in words why they think the animal might realistically survive, and draw a picture to illustrate what they've imagined (including food and shelter). Students participate in a science talk discussing their ideas about the animals and their ability to adapt to different environments. Why or why not? A scoring rubric is not included.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: If the classroom is equipped with adequate technology, the resources needed (the Kratts Creatures' website) will be readily accessible.