Lesson Plan

Plant Adaptations

Rough mules ear (Wyethia scabra)
Desert plants put up with tough growing conditions.
NPS photo by Neal Herbert


Students explore genetics by comparing desert plant adaptations, riparian plant adaptations, and a few desert plants and animals adapted to nighttime activities. Their field activities include: rough observation and data collection, a clue trail, plant keys, a story, and a smelling game. In classroom activities, students take on the identity of a desert plant or animal, and later create an imaginary plant with adaptations for survival in its imaginary environment.