Animal Adaptations

Program the Finch to behave like an animal!

Lesson Level

Intermediate II

Created By

This activity was created by Elissa Hozore of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School.

Programming Language



Language Arts, Science




This activity is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards focusing on the adaptation of animals to their environment (3-LS4-2 and 4-LS4-1). It also meets Common Core ELA standards on writing information text (anchor standard CCRA.W.2).

In this activity, you will imagine the Finch as an animal and write a program to show how its adaptations affect how the animal acts in different habitats.

When you choose an animal for your Finch, think about that animal’s natural habitat. You can choose an animal from any of these habitats: desert, forest, grassland, and mountains. Think about how your animal would act in its natural habitat, and how it would act in other habitats.

When you begin programming, start by creating a set of scripts to move your Finch using the keyboard. This will allow Finch to move from one habitat to another. What keys should you press to move forward, move backward, and turn?

Next, use the Finch’s light and temperature sensors to create programs that will make it act differently in all four habitats. Think about the characteristics of each habitat. Is it hot? Cold? Sunny?

Once your programming is perfected, write a description of your animal. This description should match what your Finch does in each habitat.

When you have completed all other steps, your teacher will give you the animal descriptions written by other groups. It is your job to observe how their Finches act in different habitats to determine which description fits with which program!

Teacher Note: To enable students to program their Finches to respond to different habitats using sensors, you may want to create these habitats in your classroom. You can use lighting to simulate a sunny environment, create a cave out of boxes to block the light of the classroom, and use a space heater or fan to change the temperature.