• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

3rd Grade - Adaptations in Nature

Goals: This unit helps students understand how plants and animals adapt to changes in their environment. They will study how physical characteristics assist animals and plants to survive. They will be able to identify how plants and animals adapt to day and night, to different seasons, as well as to changes in their environment. They will be able to discuss how humans adapt to changes in their environment and to describe ways we can adjust to a natural setting without causing major changes.


Objectives: After completing this unit the students will:

  1. define adaptation.
  2. identify three physical characteristics that help plants and animals survive (fawn spots, bird egg colors, cactus spines, design patterns).
  3. describe how unique plant designs, plant locations, or animal homes help plant and animals survive.
  4. analyze ways animals adapt to different environments or seasonal changes (advanced hearing, long antennae, night vision, change in coloration, thicker fur, migration).
  5. find three examples of how plants and animals adapt to natural changes in the environment.
  6. discuss three ways humans can adapt to or change their environment.
  7. evaluate the place where you live and list changes that humans have made to the environment. Discuss how those changes might or might not affect wildlife. Discuss ways humans can live in an environment without causing major changes.

These objectives will be achieved in three stages:

  • Nametags, pre-visit activities and information - teacher(s) will complete Nametag Activity and select at least one Pre-visit Activity to do in the classroom before visiting Wind Cave National Park. Selection of activities will be communicated to the ranger leading park program.
  • Park activities - ranger directed with assistance and supervision of the teacher and/or teacher aide.
  • Post-visit activities - teacher(s) will select at least one Post-visit Activity to do in the classroom after visiting Wind Cave National Park.
Pre-Visit Preparations:

Nametags - Who Am I?

Gotta Have a Habitat

Fit the Bill
Fit the Bill Graphics

Habitat Sweet Habitat
Habitat Sweet Habitat Graphics

Butterfly Story

Have to Have a Habitat

Post-Visit Activities:

Shape Art of the Past

Adaptation Artistry

What's the Difference?
What's the Difference Graphics

Vocabulary List

Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle

If you need a PDF reader click here.

If you are using a voice web reader and cannot translate PDF files and wish these documents, contact the park at (605) 745-4600. The park has a TTY.

Did You Know?

Natural Entrance of Wind Cave

Winds caused by changes in barometric pressure are what give Wind Cave its name. These winds have been measured at the cave's walk-in entrance at over 70 mph. The winds at the natural entrance of the cave attracted the attention of Native Americans and early settlers.