Essay Examples > Middle School

Expository Essay
Prompt: All animals have adaptations that help them to survive. These adaptations have occurred over years and years of evolution and let animals thrive in different environments. The tundra is a cold, harsh climate to live in. Describe an animal that is adapted to survive in the tundra. Be sure to give examples describing what makes the animal able to live in this environment.

Each outline comes with tips and annotated sample paragraphs.

Example - A Desert Traveler
The camel is an intriguing kind of animal - unlike anything that lives in North America. The camel is an animal that eats plants and lives in the desert. Camels are mammals and mainly survive by eating plants and other vegetation. Camels have many adaptations that help them to live in the desert. Because of these features, many people use camels to get around the desert safely over long distances. Camels are the ultimate "desert travelers" because of their nutritional, facial, and transportation features.
Nutrition Features
Camels have many different adaptations that allow them to not only live, but thrive in the desert. An adaptation is something that has evolved in an animal to help it survive. Adaptations help animals live in their specific climates. Because the desert is very dry, there is not much water or food. Camels eat many plants that live in the desert, like grasses and leaves. This helps them to survive by giving them the energy they need to move and work. Similarly, camels can survive for a long time without water. They can go over a week without water, which helps them live in a place without a lot of water to drink. When camels do drink water, they consume many gallons at one time so they can survive for a week without this important resource.
Facial Features
Another way camels are adapted to live in the desert is because of specific features on their faces. Deserts have a lot of sand, and wind can blow that sand into the eyes of people and animals. Camels have long eyelashes that help keep the sand out of their eyes. Having long eyelashes helps camels see and prevents them from getting lost during dangerous sandstorms. Their nostrils also open and close, so they do not have to breathe in sand. These facial features let camels survive in harsh desert conditions, making them a great choice for transportation in this difficult part of the world.
Transportation Features
Because of the adaptations mentioned before, many people have used camels to get around the desert for thousands of years. Similarly, camels have wide, huge feet that stop them from sinking in the sand. The desert is covered in sand, so having feet that can cross the desert without trouble is a very important feature in transportation. And indeed, for many hundreds of years, travelers across deserts have used camels because their adaptations let camels live and move successfully in this type of harsh climate.
Why are camels good desert travelers? They have many adaptations that allow them to live in the desert. They can survive for a long time without water, and have features on their faces that protect them from sand. Similarly, camels have wide, big feet that make them the great desert travelers. Adaptations have made camels the perfect animals to get around the dry, hot desert! Thousands of years ago, when travelers did not have technology like cars or airplanes to take them over long distances quickly, camels were hardy enough to make the long, dry trips. It makes sense that they were used to transport people and goods across places like the Sahara Desert. Even today, camels remain an important asset to people who need to move themselves or their belongings in one of the world's harshest climates.