Life at the Limits
Explore incredible adaptations that allow life to thrive even in the most unlikely places on Earth. The educator's guide will help you and your students investigate the exhibition.
These activities, which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts, introduce students to scientific knowledge and language related to life science. Students will readcontent-rich texts, visit the Life at the Limits exhibition, and use what they have learned to complete a CCSS-aligned writing task.Please note: The activities below are aligned for science and literacy standards in the grade levels indicated. For other grades, choose the level closest to your students’ needs and make the appropriate adjustments.
StepReads are alternate, more accessible versions of the original grade-level text developed by ReadWorks. They can be downloaded below. In addition, research-based question sets focused on literacy are available for each text at ReadWorks.org (see links below).
Use these free online resources before or after your visit to further explore themes presented in the exhibition.
Discover the many ways that species have evolved to survive – especially in some of the most extreme environments on Earth.
Wasps can live in hives of thousands, but did you know that most wasps are solitary? Get the facts on these amazing little creatures. Read a comic strip about the adventures of a young entomologist.
Have you ever wondered why and how fireflies flash?
How do how gazelles jump straight up into the air from a standstill? And why do dolphins swim differently than fish? Create six fun flipbooks to explore how mammals move!
What would it be like to bite like a saber-toothed cat? Or to gnaw like a beaver? Explore other mammals' teeth with this matching game and coloring book!
Unlike humans, some animals can instantly change the color or pattern of their skin. Take a hands-on look at how the masters of disguise known as flounders can don several different looks.
All mammals—dogs, sea lions, and even you—have an adaptation for surviving in cold water. Take the plunge, and learn why the mammalian diving reflex is your cold-water friend.
Most of the deep sea is very dark, with little or no sunlight. But that doesn't mean marine animals are in the dark! Learn how these clever creatures create their own light.
If you've ever dipped your toes in the ocean, you know the water can be downright chilly. So how do whales and walruses manage to stay warm in frigid waters? Find out with this fun hands-on activity.
Ever wonder why some organisms flash, blink, or glow? Discover how by making your own land and ocean creatures that generate light.