Science Explorations
Animals, Adaptation, and the Galápagos Islands
Level 1

Grade Level: 3–Up

  1. Define and discuss the terms “observation” and “hypothesis” before students start the activity.
  2. In Collect the Clues, students practice observation skills as they search for six clues from three Galápagos environments.
  3. They then analyze the information they’ve collected to determine which information is relevant and make an hypothesis about the mystery creature.
    (Teacher Solution: the feather and the fur are the two clues that don’t match the mystery creature, a giant tortoise).
  4. Students can record their scientific findings in the Field Journal (PDF).
  1. Students are now ready to investigate how animals like the tortoise adapt. Using photos and articles, they will collect evidence about Galápagos animals and environment.
  2. Based on the data, they will form conclusions that answer the research questions.
  3. Students can record their scientific findings in the Field Journal (PDF).

Lesson Extensions
For offline activities that encourage self-directed inquiry, check out Backyard Science.

Follow Up Thinking
Continue student discussion with these questions.

  • What clues might a different animal might leave behind (e.g. bird nests or snail shells)?
  • What are examples of characteristics that fit with animals’ environments (e.g. thick arctic fur or brightly colored birds in the tropics)?
  • What might it be like for students to live on an island in the Galápagos?
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