Adaptations of Desert Plants


This activity asks students to discuss the biotic and abiotic qualities of a desert environment, and how these factors may affect a plant's photosynthetic strategies. Students brainstorm possible evolutionary adaptations (feasible or not) that may address these challenges.

Outcomes and Learning Objectives

  1. know the biotic and abiotic attributes of a desert ecosystem
  2. identity and understand adaptations that allow plants to live in a desert ecosystem 

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Speed Dating

General Directions

Each student will research a topic (e.g. biomes, organelle, genetic disorder), and find 3 to 5 facts or interesting details about this topic, which should include information that is not commonly known.
During class students pair up to share this information in short (1 – 5 minutes each) sessions.
At a bell or buzzer, they will switch partners.
I often have them complete between 4 and 8 rounds depending on the complexity of the topics, amount of variability in the research and number of students.

Adaptation: As a guide, you can provide a set of questions for them to focus on, and have them provide a short introduction each round. This helps keep things from being so repetitive and can help the students stretch their understanding, ability to answer questions, and discussion skills.