Extreme Lifestyles

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
In this matching game, learners study the limits of life on Earth to see what other places in the solar system might sustain microbial life. Learners explore information about extremophiles—living organisms that exist under conditions considered extreme and uninhabitable—and discover that they can adapt to environments of extreme heat up to 113 C, extreme cold as low as -15 C, or extreme pressure. This activity can be used with lessons on the deep sea, caves, and/or life on other planets. This activity can be found on pages 37-38 of the activity guide. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Worksheet – Extreme Life Card Game
  • Scissors
  • Worksheets – Organism Cards
  • Worksheets – Earth Habitat Cards
  • Worksheets – Possible Extraterrestrial Habitat Cards


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Solar System
      • The Planets
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
      • Viruses and Bacteria
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Games
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, TERC, 2007

Funding Sources:

  • NASA, NAS5-26555
  • National Science Foundation, NSF 9730728