Mangrove Forest Adaptations – Physical & Behavioral


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Mangrove Forests Adaptations


Introduce physical and behavioral adaptations with this fun, hands on lesson! With this resource, your students will be introduced to the concept of adaptations, and then they will dive into an interesting case study on the mangrove forest ecosystem as they examine the unique adaptations of the species who call this ecosystem home.


This lesson, although intended as a part of an NGSS Storyline on mangrove forests, can be used as a standalone lesson on the following topics:

  • What are physical and behavioral adaptations?
  • What are the specific adaptations of mangrove trees and the species who live there?
  • How would these specially adapted species be affected if their habitat was destroyed?


Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, students will examine the unique physical and behavioral adaptations of different species in the mangrove forest, as well as mangrove trees themselves, through a couple of activities.


Activity 1: 

Using the provided Google Slides presentation and the student activity sheet, teachers will introduce adaptations. Then, students complete a short reading on the adaptations of mangroves and discuss. Definitions for physical and behavioral adaptations are also introduced at this time.


Activity 2: 

Students will be given either paper or digital cards in which they will match the species with its description. An answer key is provided, which alternatively can be given directly to students in order to save time. Through their study of the cards, students will learn about the adaptations of the species that call the mangroves home, while also building a foundational knowledge of the food webs of the mangrove ecosystem, which will serve them in future lessons.

Who is this resource for?

This resource can be used by classroom teachers, tutors, and parents of students in grades 6-9. It comprehensively covers the topics mentioned, and provides opportunities for student responses which can be implemented in a whole group lesson or assigned for homework.


This lesson is a part of a NGSS storyline unit that addresses the question: What would happen if mangrove forests disappeared?


This resource was originally designed to be used to support the conservation and restoration efforts of the UAE’s rich mangrove forest ecosystems. It has since been modified for use around the world. As a result, two versions of this lesson are provided: one specific to the UAE and one general.


How Can I Use this Resource?

  • Emergency Sub Plans
  • An independent work station in a set of stations
  • Flipped Classroom pre-reading
  • Whole or small group opportunity to model and teach Close Reading strategies and annotation
  • Differentiation ‚Äď Assign this activity as reteaching for students who have yet to show mastery.
  • Homework
  • Creation of Independent Work Packet for students who are not able to be present for direct instruction.
  • Extension activity for early finishers or for students who show a special interest in the topic
  • Use as a square on a Choice Board
  • Interactive Notebooks: Print 2 pages in one and cut apart. Glue mini pages into notebooks with room for annotations on the side
  • Interactive Notebooks: Print entire PDF as a mini booklet and add to notebooks using these¬†simple instructions.


What’s Included?

  • Student Sheet¬†(Print & Digital)
  • Species Reference List – Matching Activity¬†(Print & Digital)
  • Species Reference List – In Order¬†(Google Slides)
  • Guiding Google Slides Presentation


Purchase includes a printable PDF file in color. On page 2 of this resource you will find a link to a student friendly Google Doc version of this file. You will be able to copy this file and use it with Google Classroom or any other paperless initiative.


Please take a look at the preview file to see more of this resource.



Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.

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