Project WILD Activities

Cover-Desert Dwellers

TPW Magazine, August 2010
Desert Dwellers (pdf).

Desert Dwellers

Activities are available through our Project WILD workshops.


Adaptation Artistry - Students design and create imaginary birds and write reports including descriptions of the birds’ adaptations.  Upon completion students identify and describe the advantages of bird adaptations and evaluate the importance of adaptations to birds.  Requires drawing paper, painting, clay sculpture or papier-mâché’ materials;  construction paper and glue; and pencil and paper. 

Good Buddies (Chihuahua Desert adaptation)- Students research pairs of animals, play a card game, and classify the pairs of animals according to the three major forms of symbiotic relationships.  Upon completion students define symbiosis, commensalism, mutualism and parasitism; identify animals that live in each type of relationship; and explain that symbiotic relationships are examples of the intricate web of interdependence in which all plants and animals live.  Requires copies of cards provided in activity; research materials. 

I’m Thirsty - Students use data provided to perform mathematical calculations and make inferences.  Upon completion, students make inferences about the importance of adaptations for wildlife survival.  Requires paper and pencils. 

Polar Bears in Phoenix? - Students design and draw a zoo enclosure appropriate for the survival of a polar bear in a hot, arid climate.  Upon completion students identify problems for an animal moved from its natural environment to captivity.  Requires drawing paper and crayons. 

Rainfall and the Forest – Students work with state highway and vegetative maps to determine relationships between rainfall, vegetation and animal habitats.  Upon completion students correlate rainfall data with vegetative communities; correlate vegetative communities with animal life; recognize interrelationships among living and non-living elements of the environment; and understand that populations and the fluctuations of those populations are influenced by climatic conditions.  Requires (for each group) highway maps of state; sheets of tracing paper (19X24” or 17X22”); different colored crayons; information about annual elevation and rainfall for 25 to 30 communities in the state; vegetative map of state.  Optional range maps of selected wildlife species in state

Who Fits Here? – Students play an identification game with posters and cards.  Upon completion students identify characteristic life forms in ecosystems; match appropriate life forms to ecosystems; and generalize that each ecosystem has characteristic life forms, adapted to live there.  Requires poster board (10 sheets); crayons, paints or magazine photos; index cards or construction paper for 50 adaptation cards