Hold It

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In this outdoor activity/field trip, learners investigate the special shapes, holding structures and holding behaviors that real organisms use in streams, rivers, creeks or coast intertidal zones to avoid being swept away by moving water. Learners then create their own "animal" with holding adaptations. The activity includes drawings that detail helpful equipment such as bug boxes and dip nets, as well as instructions for making a milk-carton observation tray and flow-through trough.

Quick Guide

Learning Time:

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip, Model, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • cork
  • sponge
  • junk box
  • clay
  • rubber bands
  • toothpicks
  • pipe cleaners
  • popsicle sticks
  • heavy thread or string
  • 204 scissors
  • bug box or magnifying lens
  • milk carton observation tray
  • 3 half-gallon milk cartons
  • sharp knife
  • stapler
  • roll of waterproof tape
  • small plastic cup
  • dip net (aquarium size)
  • freshwater aquatic guide


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1980