Getting to know Idaho Reptiles
handout exercisesuggested grade levels: 9-12

view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Reptiles play important roles in Idaho's many habitats. Encourage your students to explore the Digital Atlas before doing this activity. They should also have been exposed to the reptiles as a class of animals. A classroom pet reptile might be an excellent bonus for the teacher as well as the students. Students may work in groups for this activity or this could even be done as a homework assignment.

1. Students will learn how to use the reptile portion of the Digital Atlas of Idaho.
2. Students will be able to explain the basic characteristics and biology of reptiles.
3. Students will learn how to do research.

1. Have your students use the reptile section of the Digital Atlas. To get there: Click on Atlas Home, Biology, then Reptiles. Students will enter and read the information in the following links from the reptile page: Introduction, Family Tree of Idaho Reptiles, Turtles Page, Snake Page, and Lizard Page. Have your students answer the following questions using complete sentences. For a printable pdf copy of a handout you can give to your students for this exercise, click below.

These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.
rept1ho.pdf | rept1AK.pdf | Reptiles

Handout Sample:
The sample questions below are shown in the printed handout.

   1. What is the name of the class to which all species of reptile belong?
   2. What are the basic characteristics of reptiles that distinguish them from other animals?
   3. Give some examples of reptiles.
   4. Define the word oviparous and use oviparous in a sentence. Which species of Idaho reptiles are oviparous?
   5. How would you distinguish between a turtle, snake, and a lizard?
Family Tree of Idaho Reptiles:
   6. Of the two families Phrynsomatidae and Scincidae, which one is more closely related to Teiidae? How can you tell?
   7. Of all the families in the family tree, which one is most closely related to Viperidae?
Turtle Page
   8. What is the name of the only species of turtle found in Idaho? In what type of habitat does this species live?
Lizard Page
   9. What are some basic characteristics of lizards that distinguish them from other reptiles?
 10. Which family of lizards found in Idaho contains the most species?
Snake Page
 11. What are some basic characteristics of Snakes that distinguish them from other reptiles?
 12. What vestigial trait do members of the Boidae family have?

Related Lesson Topics:
Biology: Reptiles
Biology: Biology Topics

Lesson plan by Stefan Sommer and James Scannell, 2001
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: