In the second part of the lesson, I ask students to pick an animal, and to develop a comic strip that depicts how their chosen animal is an example of survival of the fittest. This cartoon does not have to be very elaborate, but it must depict how their chosen animal is fit. Students can find the rubric for the comic strip on the second page of the Survival of the Sneakiest sheet.
Sometimes students struggle with coming up with ideas. To guide the students, I tell them to pick their favorite animal (or an animal whose name starts with their first initial). Then, they can look up their animal's adaptations by simply doing an Internet search of their "chosen animal adaptations". Choosing from whatever comes up, they can move on to how that adaptation makes their animal fit for their environment, and move from there to the comic strip.
I also give them examples like, "survival of the thick skinned (elephants or rhinoceros)", "survival of the tallest (giraffes or moose)", "survival of the stickiest feet (grasshoppers)", "survival of the most patient (cats, alligators or spiders)", "survival of the pickiest eater (koala)".
This activity fosters not only the 21st Century skill of creative thinking, but also gets students thinking about why specific adaptations developed, giving them an opportunity to evaluate information and form hypotheses (SP6).
In this Student Speak video I asked students to talk about the adaptations they chose to showcase. As you can see, they are still in the process of drafting their work and exploring the information they have available.
Here are some examples of the student's final cartoons
Americans, caught up in the woes of the Great Depression, immediately took to Chic Young's humorous daily reminders that love, not money, conquers all. The featured character of a new comic strip by Murat Bernard "Chic" Young (1901-1973) Blondie Boopadoop entered the world on September 8, 1930. The comic strip floundered until Young decided to have Blondie fall deeply in love with Dagwood Bumstead. Desperate to wed Blondie, in spite of his father's objections to her lowly social status, Dagwood went on a hunger strike until the elder Bumstead grudgingly accepted their relationship, but refused to continue to support his son. The couple married on Friday, February 17, 1933, and Dagwood, now disinherited, stripped of his wealth and family connections, was nonetheless blissfully happy with his sparkling, vivacious, yet unfailingly practical new bride. Young drew this daily comic strip just weeks before Blondie's marriage to Dagwood, when Blondie was still a carefree, flighty girl.