science education

Exploring Nature Science Education Resource:

Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science Resources for K-12

Adaptations - Authentic Performance


Authentic Performance Activities facilitate a student's understanding of a lesson's usefulness in real life. They are also an Understanding by Design (UbD) assessment tool. Focus questions act as pre- and post-assessment indicators of the activity's effectiveness.

Focus Questions:

1. Why do we learn about adaptation?

2. Can you think of any other jobs where knowing about adaptations might be helpful?

3. Can you think of any ways where knowing about adaptations could affect your home and property (flower and vegetable garden)?

Authentic Performance
You are an inventor working for the defense department and decide that you might learn some things from how animals defend themselves in nature. How might looking at the adaptations of the following animals  help you think of ideas to protect soldiers or people in every day life? Look at the adaptations of the armadillo, skunk, hedgehog, kangaroo rat, and walking stick. Use the Adaptations database on to find the information about these 5 animals and their adaptations.


Adaptations - Authentic Performance activity

Citing Research References

When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).

When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Adaptations - Authentic Performance" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2017. June 23, 2017
< > has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.

cheetah, tiger, panda, fox, bear, cougar