Searching for Plant Adaptations in the Garden

Part of the "No Monkeys, No Chocolate" Collection


Students will learn about and search for plant adaptations in the garden.

Estimated Time

45 Minutes

Setting Required

Inside and Outside


  • S4L2. Students will identify factors that affect the survival or extinction of organisms such as adaptation, variation of behaviors (hibernation), and external features (camouflage and protection).
    • a. Identify external features of organisms that allow them to survive or reproduce better than organisms that do not have these features (for example: camouflage, use of hibernation, protection, etc.).
    • b. Identify factors that may have led to the extinction of some organisms.


  • Journals or 8.5×11 copy paper (1 per student)
  • Coloring supplies (enough for each student)


  1. Read No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart (or another book that demonstrates plant adaptations) and remind students that animals aren’t the only ones that adapt – plants can adapt too. Just as the cocoa plant adapted to having its seeds spread by monkeys.
  2. Provide time in the schoolyard for students to search for possible plant adaptations in small groups. Their findings could include:

Protective adaptation to keep from being eaten
Protective coloration to stay hidden from predators
Attractive coloration to be seen by mates
Adaptation to encourage pollination
Adaptation to spread seeds
Adaptation to make photosynthesis easier
Adaptation to survive in a crowded forest with little sunlight
Adaptation to survive cold weather
Adaptation to survive dry weather
Co-adaptations that benefit two different species