Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Desert topic on BrainPOP Jr.

Desert Encyclopedia
Have each student pick a desert animal or plant and learn about how it survives in the desert. What special parts does it have to survive in the heat? What does it do to get water? How does it conserve energy? Students can each draw a picture of their plant or animal and write a few sentences or list facts. Collect the pages to create a desert encyclopedia that students can reference. If you prefer, you can have students complete the activity on index cards and create a fact file on the desert instead of a bound book.

Desert Shadowbox

Have students bring in shoeboxes to create desert shadowboxes. They can add sand, rocks, and use plastic animals or draw pictures of animals to add to their boxes. They may even want to bring in small cacti or dried plants to put into their boxes. Make sure students handle the plants with care. Students can share their creations with the class.

World Deserts

As a social studies and geography link, study a map together as a class. Look for the major deserts in the world. Which continent has the most deserts? Which continent does not have any deserts? Where is the largest desert in the world? Remind students that deserts are dry areas that receive little precipitation, but that deserts can be found in surprising places. Also, there are both cold and hot deserts. What continents have cold deserts? Does their pattern of rainfall differ from hot deserts? Polar deserts are arid regions that receive a little snow. Deserts can also be found the mountains. Have students research world deserts and how the people and animals who live there have adapted to the climate.

Desert Fables

There are many fables about the desert, including Aesop’s fable of “Truth and the Traveler.” Share a few fables with the class and have students make up their own fables. Students can either write them down or tell them aloud. Remind students that fables are short stories in which animals are often the main characters. Most fables teach a moral, or lesson. As a twist, you can start the fable and then go around the room and have students add to the story.


Filed as:  Desert, Habitats, K-3, Science