Be Naturally Curious
Science and Nature Mini-Courses for Kids

Life in the Desert


Life in the Desert

No water? What is a desert plant or animal to do? All kinds of cool things! In Life in the Desert you and your child can learn about some of the amazing adaptations plants and animals have to survive in a water-limited environment. From cactus spines to meerkat burrows, you will discover the amazing diversity of strategies living things have for making it in a harsh environment.

Mini-course is provided as a 50-page PDF, with a separate Science Tool Kit PDF to use to collect your badges

Prefer a printed mini-course? Life in the Desert  is also available as a beautiful workbook here on

 Course Contents

  • Story: Nature’s Alive! In this beautifully illustrated story, join Sandy Saguaro for her show Nature’s Alive!, in which she interviews a whole slew of fascinating desert creatures.
  • Activity 1: Desert Survival Game. Construct your own desert board game, including playing board (taped together from the worksheets) and game cards, and play to experience the different challenges faced by desert plants and animals. Who can find water first?
  • Activity 2: Make a Desert Animal! Create your own desert animal, complete with feathers, scales, talons and more from the worksheets provided. You decide what strategies your animal uses to survive the harsh desert environment!
  • Activity 3: Day and Night Adaptations. Pick a desert animal and re-enact a day in the desert. What will your creature do to find water?
  • Activity 4: Evaporate! Learn the scientific method, take measurements, and make graphs…all in this simple evaporation experiment. It’s easy to do real science at home with the right kind of guidance!
  • Curiosity Connector. Check out these online resources to learn more about deserts and how plants and animals have adapted to survive.
  • Tools for Your Tool Kit. See if you can answer all the questions about desert plants and animals to earn Tools for your Science Tool Kit.
  • Glossary. Learn important scientific terms used for understanding desert life.

Concepts and Ideas

Life in the Desert includes the following Disciplinary Core Ideas as described in the Next Generation Science Standards: 

Biodiversity and Humans (LS4.D), Adaptation (LS4.C), Developing Possible Solutions (ETS1.B), Structure and Function (LS1.A), Information Processing (LS1.D).

How to Purchase

After checking out and purchasing the mini-course via PayPal, you will receive an email from Be Naturally Curious with a link to download the mini-course PDF. Your PDF will be stamped with your name and transaction number. You will also receive a link to download a Science Tool Kit PDF.  Please print this and use it to collect your Tool badges.

Illustrations by Charlie Alolkoy.




Life in the Desert

Kira Freed

About Kira Freed

Kira Freed, M.A., is a children's writer and former archaeozoologist who discovered a mistake about dinosaurs in the World Book Encyclopedia when she was seven. She grew up in rural Ohio and learned from a young age to find comfort and inspiration in nature. Kira has written more than one hundred books for educational publishers, many about animals. She likes to encourage readers to try on the perspectives of different kinds of animals and hopes to motivate readers to help our planet achieve a better balance between human needs and the needs of other life forms. Kira lives in Arizona and enjoys traveling, seeing wildlife, making art, and taking long walks in nature.

© Be Naturally Curious 2018