Lesson Plan

Oh, So Special!

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Fifth Grade
Biology: Plants, Botany, Ecology
30 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
indoors or outdoors
National/State Standards:
Colorado Science: 4th grade 2.1; 5th grade 2.1
native plant, habitat


Students will become acquainted with the habits and characteristics of a few special plants and animals.


Students will become acquainted with the habits and characteristics of a few special plants and animals.


Alfred Russel Wallace, the nineteenth century naturalist and biogeographer who has been attributed with the original discovery of the theory of evolution, began his explorations of nature as a teenager looking at beetles in his hometown of Usk, England.

Sometimes, it only takes one special animal or plant to encourage someone to get-to-know the outdoors. Nature enthusiasts from all over the world visit America's parks and monuments to witness firsthand the special animals and plants that live there.

Explore Great Sand Dunes' web pages on plants and animals to also learn more about the diversity of life in the park.


Oh, So Special cards(PDF), tape


1. Print the Oh, So Special Cards on paper or cardstock and cut them out. If there are more than 20 students in your classroom, you will need to print out one copy plus an additional page for each additional four students (there are five pages of Oh, So Special cards, four per page).

2. Pass the cards out around the class. Tell the students that these are some of the special plants that they may encounter at Great Sand Dunes. Have students read each card.

3. After the cards have gone around the entire class, gather them up and use tape or a clothespin to attach one card on each student's back. The students should not be able to see what plant or animal they are.

4. The students will then go around to each other and ask yes or no questions about who they are. Other students may assist by telling them short facts about who they are, but remind them not to give away the name of the animal or plant.


biogeography, habitat, species