Acadia Adaptations: Acadia National Park


The students will identify adaptations that enable organisms to survive within a specific ecosystem.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters


The students will identify adaptations that enable organisms to survive within a specific ecosystem.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science


  • 7th
  • 8th

Class Time

  • Sessions: One
  • Session Length: 45-60 minutes
  • Total Length: 46-90 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Ecosystem
  • Adaptation


  • Internet
  • Writing tools



Worksheets and files (PDF)

Lesson Steps

  1. Display and examine the Acadia National Park Quarter design. Locate this site on a class map. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
  2. Visit the Acadia National Park web site to learn more about the park's plants and animals and how they have adapted to the changing habitats in intertidal zones.
  3. Distribute the "Intertidal Zone Concept Map." Map some facts about the Intertidal Zone. Diagram one of the animals found in the intertidal zone, such as Mytilus edulis ("blue mussel") with the whole class. Focus on the adaptations of attaching to the rocks, which gives it the ability to move with the high and low tide; the hard shell, which protects it from some predators; and the high number of young born to ensure survival.
  4. Have the students research and diagram at least three plants or animals that are found in this zone and map the ways they have adapted.
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  • Use the students' class participation, worksheets, and final products to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.
  • Use a rubric that includes "accuracy of information" and "making connections" to assess the students' understanding of the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

National Standards

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades 5–8

  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Reproduction and heredity
  • Regulation and behavior
  • Populations and ecosystems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms