This activity can be used to introduce any unit that focuses on how people must adapt to the challenges present in their environment. I used it at the beginning of a unit on Native American regions. The activity will help the students understand that each region presented different types of challenges so that they can better understand later why the adaptations were necessary & how they impacted their cultures.
In the activity, the students use a rating scale to analyze the availability of food, water, and shelter in a series of photographs. Follow up questions are included to help the students share the rationales behind their ratings and create discussions on how each environment presents a different set of challenges to those living there and possible adaptations they may use. The pictures also served as an anticipatory set since, with the exception of the last, the photos depict the various regions of Native Americans that were covered in the unit.