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Conservation Classroom: Suited for Survival

Suited for Survival explores animal adaptations from camouflaging lizards to armored turtles. Students will learn how unique adaptations help animals survive. 

This virtual school program is part of Conservation Classroom, a collection of monthly lessons for K-5 students. Each lesson has four elements: wonder (video), engage (live virtual program), act (activities), and connect (video). Follow along with all four parts or pick and choose the videos and activities you want to explore. 

Grades: K-5 

Standards: Supports NGSS K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, 1-LS1-2, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-3, 4-LS1-1

Topics: reptiles, survival, adaptations, animal traits, animal behavior

Cost: Free

I Wonder decorative thumbnail


I wonder... what is an adaptation? Bring your curiosity along on an adventure to learn about a variety of animal adaptations that help animals survive in their habitat.

A wood turtle withdrawing into its shell


December 13, 2023 at 2 p.m. ET

In this free, live virtual program, meet some amazing reptiles and investigate the adaptations they have for survival. Program is hosted in Zoom webinar. Recording will be made available approximately 48 hours after the live program. Please note: audio and video are disabled for participants but students can still engage via polls, chat, Q&A and emojis.

Access: ASL interpretation, live captions

Language: English, simulcast in Spanish

Register Now!

Collage of sample educational activity sheets


During the live program, have a paper and pencil handy to draw along as we learn about animal adaptations. After the program, create your own animal and send your drawings to us at

Adaptation Activity

Career Connections text on an illustrated background with elephants, hearts, and checkmarks


Meet Kyle, an animal keeper at the Zoo's Reptile Discovery Center! As part of his "unZOOsual" career, Kyle cares for and even trains reptiles.

For Educators

Educator's Materials

Conservation Classroom: Suited for Survival i­­s best suited for grades K-5. The full lesson consists of two videos, a live program, and one post-program activity. Refer to the Smithsonian Learning Lab collection to help teach this lesson.

Learning Lab

Letter to Guardians

After participating in the live program, print or send the following letter to guardians, explaining what their student learned in this lesson and how they can continue to engage from home.

Guardian Letter