Water plant adaptations

Water plant adaptations

I can explain how the adaptations in water plants help them survive.

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Water plant adaptations

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Scientists can learn about the adaptations of living things to better understand how the world around them works, and to use and apply this knowledge to other experiences including problem-solving. Students will learn about adaptations and learn about several aquatic plants and their adaptations. Students will participate in various activities to learn and practice describing the adaptations of the water plants and how it helps them to survive. This lesson also includes a printable worksheet.


NGSS: 4-LS1-1

Learning objective

Students will be able to explain how the adaptations in water plants help them survive.


Have students turn and talk about how the two plants shown on the slide are different. Afterward, tell students that one of the differences that they may have spoken about with their partner is where the plants grow (one in water and one on land). Then, inform students that today, they will learn about water plants and their adaptations that help them to survive in their environment!


Teach students about adaptations. Explain that plants have adaptations in order to be able to obtain more resources, to satisfy needs, or for protection. Explain to students they will learn about some popular water plants and their adaptations that either helps them to be stable in order to survive in water or to absorb more sunlight. Teach students about the following adaptations: long roots, flexible stems, and flat leaves. Afterward, students can engage in the following activities:

First, students will be shown pictures of three different aquatic plants. Students have to determine the plant and correctly label each while explaining how they know. Next, students will read a paragraph of dialogue explaining different water plants. Students will have to fill-in-the-blank by dragging words to the correct blank line. Then, students will click on a spinner and explain the adaptations they learned about for the plant they land on. For the final activity, students get to create their own water plant. They will sketch and label an illustration of their aquatic plant creation, give it a name, and then write a paragraph explaining the plant and its adaptations.


Students respond to ten questions about adaptations in plants and the specific adaptations and characteristics of the water plants that they learned about in this lesson. Eight questions are multiple-choice and two are sorting.


Students will create their own water plant with adaptations. Each student should receive a worksheet (printable is included). They will illustrate on the left side their water plant idea with labels showing the adaptations. On the right side of the worksheet, they will name their plant and describe it in writing. They should explain each adaptation they come up with for their plant.

Instruction materials

This lesson includes a printable worksheet.

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