Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Desert Plant Adaptations

Adaptations are changes that happens over a long time which help organisms (plants or animals) survive in their environment. Adaptations can be behaviors or structures (parts) of the organism.
Plant examples: shape of leaves, thorns, spines, thickness of stems/leaves

  • Introduce/review the definition of adaptations with the students.
  • Discuss the desert climate.
  • Ask students the following question. "What behaviors or structures of desert plants help them survive in their environment?" (structures: stems, leaves, spines, roots)
  • What types of stems and leaves help desert plants survive? (Thick stems/leaves and waxy-coated stems/leaves help keep in water.)  (Sharp spines keep animals away.)

Try the following experiments.

Experiment 1 (Thick stems/leaves vs. thin stems/leaves)

  • Give each student/group 1 thin and 1 thick sponge.
  • Put each on a dish.
  • Pour equal amounts of water on each sponge.
  • Squeeze each sponge into a cup.
  • Compare.
  • Which sponge held more water?

Experiment 2 (Waxy coating vs. non-waxy coating) 

  • Give each student/group 2 sponges (the same size).
  • Place each on a dish.
  • Pour the same amount of water over each sponge.
  • Place 1 of the sponges in a zip-lock bag.
  • Squeeze each sponge into a cup.
  • Compare.
  • Which sponge held more water? (The plastic bag represents the waxy outer covering.)


  1. new follower here!
    Thank you for participating in the Relax and Make Friends Wednesday blog hop hosted by Rachel’s Reviews & Mom Always Finds Out. Hope to see you again next week!

  2. Hi! I'm a new follower from the Mom's Review Blog Hop!You have a lovely blog :) Please visit me at -- I love company!

  3. I love your blog, this is great! My son is obsessed with science and I see you have some wonderful ideas!
    I am stopping by and following from the I ♥ Blogging hop, thank you for joining our hop!

  4. Thanks Sarah,
    Thanks for everything. I'm following you too. Love your site. Hope your son continues his interest in science...maybe he'll become a doctor or an astronaut! So many wonderful possibilities.
    Thanks again, Marcia :)

  5. Hello,

    I am your newest follower.
    Please follow back at:
    Nicole Weaver

  6. I am your newest follower from the Friday Blog Hop! I cannot wait to read more! Hope to have you follow me back :)

  7. Thanks! I'm now following you too. Like your site. Will visit often to check out the deals.
    Have a good week-end.
    Marcia :)

  8. Great blog! Great ideas. Very educational!
    I'm a new follower from the blog hop!
    Hope you can follow back:

  9. Feels like I'm back in school! heheh...

    Following from the blog hop. Would love a follow back!


  10. I love lerning stuff. (jk)
    I try to include some history as often as I can in my posts too!
    New follower from the hop, would appreciate a follow back, and I promise to work on my speling!



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