Create a Creature
The ocean is home to some of the most unique and interesting animals in the world. Some of these animals have not even been discovered! Now is your chance to create your very own creature that could one day be discovered by science!
Additional Tips (this activity can be simplified or made more complex for students of varying levels)
- Take the students on an observational walk to identify the plants and animals local to their environment
- You may elaborate on certain concepts depending on your students' interest and curriculum needs.
- Identify with the students what your environment is, specifical the abiotic features
- Students should be familiar with the basic survival needs of living organisms for this activity
- Choose one animal in the local area that students are familiar with (e.g. squirrel). For example:
- Ask the students what is special about the squirrel that helps it survive in its environment.
- If the squirrel is native to a forest, where does it find its food (in the trees)
- How is it going to get its food? Does it have any specific parts of its body to help it climb the trees?
Dive into a deeper discussion with older students:
- What do the organ systems of your organism have (if the student says their creature is venomous, ask them how the creature stores and administers the venom)
- What does your creature's offspring look like?
- Do they look like an adult and grow, or do they change their form?
- Where does the offspring live, is it different than the adults?
- Do the adults care for their offspring?
- Does your creature migrate? If not, how does it adapt to the changes in the seasons?
- How would humans interact with your creature?
- What threatens your creature?
- Many students tend towards creating top predators, but there are lots of environmental threats that even top predators have to look out for (including humans).
As a class, create a world for your organisms. This could take the form of a collective painting or a written story. Each student gets to contribute their organisms to this world, and you create an ocean of your own with all of the microhabitats where these newly discovered creatures live.
Get a piece of paper and some pencils/coloured markers. Before starting your drawing, answer the following questions.
1. Is your creature a plant or an animal?
2. Where does your creature live in the ocean? Does it like warm water or cold water? Does it like a lot of light or does it live in the deep, dark ocean? Does it live underneath the ocean floor, on the ocean floor, in the open ocean, or on the beach? Identify all of the abiotic (non-living) factors in your creature's habitat
3. What does your creature eat? How does it find or catch its food?
4. What is your creature afraid of? Does it have any predators that could eat it? How does your creature protect itself?
5. Does your creature lay eggs or have live babies? What does your creature look like when it is a baby?
Using your answers to these questions, create your own never-before-seen creature. Be creative, your creature can be anything!
To understand how animals have adaptions to survive in their given environment
Incorporation of this activity can support the following curriculum links:
GRADE: Primary, Intermediate
Science K: Plants and animals have observable features.
Science K: Daily and seasonal changes affect all living things.
Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment.
Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment.
Science 2: Water is essential to all living things, and it cycles through the environment.
Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems.
Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment.
Science 5: Multicellular organisms have organ systems that enable them to survive and interact within their environment.
Science 6: Multicellular organisms rely on internal systems to survive, reproduce, and interact with their environment.
Science 7: Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.
Questioning and Predicting
- Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest
- Make observations aimed at identifying their own questions about the natural world
Processing and Analyzing Data and Information
- Experience and interpret the local environment
- Use scientific understandings to identify relationships and draw conclusions
Applying and Innovating
- Co-operatively design projects
- Transfer and apply learning to new situations
- Communicate ideas, findings, and solutions to problems, using scientific language, representations, and digital technologies as appropriate
- Express and reflect on a variety of experiences and perspectives of place
- Basic needs of plants and animals
- adaptations of local plants and animals
- living things make changes to accommodate daily and seasonal cycles
- names of local plants and animals
- structural features of living things in the local environment
- behavioural adaptations of animals in the local environment
- similarities and differences between offspring and parent
- water conservation
- Biodiversity in the local environment
- Sensing and responding in humans, animals, and plants
- biomes as large regions with similar environmental features
- basic structures and functions of body systems: digestive, musculo-skeletal, respiratory, circulatory
- The basic structures and functions of body systems: excretory, reproductive, hormonal, nervous
- organisms have evolved over time
- survival needs
- natural selection
- evidence of climate change over geological time and the recent impacts of humans:
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