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Skulls Lesson Plan

A lesson plan for the virtual field trip lesson about consumer (animal) skulls.

Consumer Evidence: Skulls Lesson

Lesson Plan

Skulls Lesson Plan (PDF)


  • Submitted by: Vince Case & Steven Henley
  • Content Area: Science, grades 4-5
  • Materials Needed: paper and pencil
  • Handouts Attached: none
  • Standard Addressed: NGSS 5-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy & Dynamics (see attached NGSS standards sheet for full information)
  • Skill to be Maintained: Understand the structure, function, and adaptations of consumer’s skulls
  • Essential Question: How do consumer’s teeth help them eat producers and/or other consumers as they seek out food sources? Why are these adaptations important to their survival?
  • Academic Vocabulary/Word Wall words: adaptation, consumers, omnivore, carnivore, herbivore
  • Brain Drain or Warm Up Activity: N/A

Basic Lesson Description and Procedure:

  1. Students will watch the video from the SMNHC.
  2. Students will make observations of different kinds of consumer skulls. They will specifically observe skulls from an herbivore, an omnivore, and a carnivore.
  3. Students will also learn about other teeth adaptations like the sheering scissor-like teeth in carnivores and omnivores and the structure and function of incisors.
  4. During these observations in the video, students will pay particular attention to the structure, function, and adaptations of the consumer’s teeth.
  5. Students will have the opportunity, during the video, to think about and identify different kinds of animals native to the Sandias and Rio Grande Bosque.
  6. Students will then participate in two activities: drawing skulls (teeth) and writing a creative consumer survival story.

Skull drawing and creative writing activity

  1. Students will collect and/or observe food sources outside their home or inside their kitchen, think about what kind of teeth are best for consumers to eat their type of food, and draw pictures of skulls and teeth that would help consumers eat the food. Students will also identify whether the consumers are herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores. 
  2. Students will also write a story about a self-selected consumer that lives in the Sandia Mountains, focusing on how that consumer lives and survives in the mountains specifically focusing on some of the adaptations the animal posseses.

Lesson Conclusion/Potential Practice at Home

Students can share their drawings and their story with family and household members in a read aloud.


Just about any grade level can do this lesson and its activities.