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. 




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


Reptiles, survival, adaptations, animal traits, animal behavior

Crosscutting Concepts:

Patterns, structure and function




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.


In this free, live virtual program, students met some amazing reptiles and investigated the adaptations they have for survival. Access the recording to enjoy the program that aired on December 13, 2023. Recording includes English captions, as well as Spanish and ASL interpretation. 


During the live program, draw along as we learn about animal adaptations. After the program, create your own animal with unique adaptations. Share your drawings with us at

Hojas de actividades disponibles en español: Adecuado para la supervivencia. Comparta sus dibujos con nosotros en


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 two activities. Refer to the Smithsonian Learning Lab collection to help teach this lesson.

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.

Carta para el tutor

Después de participar en el programa en vivo, imprima o envíe la siguiente carta a los tutores, explicando lo que su estudiante aprendió en esta lección y cómo pueden continuar participando desde casa.

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