Arizona’s Wonder Rabbit

This resource provides an article at multiple lexile levels which will allow students to access the content no matter what their reading level. In this article, students will learn all about the adaptations that help the antelope jackrabbit survive. They will also delve into biological concepts like Bergman’s and Allen’s Rules.

By completing this activity, your students will be able to:

  • Identify adaptations that help the jackrabbit survive.
  • Explain the difference between rabbits and hares.
  • Analyze the role that body size has in maintaining body temperature.

More About this Lesson Plan

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has a collection of multi-level nonfiction texts. These are student-friendly articles that have been written at three or more different lexile levels. Your class can access exciting wildlife content at a level appropriate to each individual student. Each article comes with text-dependent and critical thinking questions to help evaluate student comprehension and thinking. Many of these articles originally appeared in the Department’s award-winning Arizona Wildlife Views magazine and have been modified to be more accessible in the K-12 classroom.

The article has been modified to work at multiple reading levels. We have included some general information to help you decide which level will be appropriate for your students. You will find an approximate lexile level as well as a word count for the passage. For comparison purposes, we have also included the ATOS readability format and the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

In this specific set of articles, students will learn all about the antelope jackrabbit which is found in southern Arizona, and nowhere else in the United States. They have many unique adaptations that help it survive in this arid environment. They are great examples of both Allen’s Rule and Bergmann’s Rule. Yet, there is still much that we need to learn about these elusive animals.

Version 1 (Approximately 4th, 5th or 6th grade)

  • Lexile: 870L
  • ATOS: 6.1
  • Flesch-Kincaid Readability: 5.5
  • Word Count: 512


Version 2 (Approximately 7th or 8th grade)

  • Lexile: 1080L
  • ATOS: 8.2
  • Flesch-Kincaid Readability: 8.20
  • Word Count: 992


Version 3 (Approximately high school)

  • Lexile: 1300L
  • ATOS: 10.3
  • Flesch-Kincaid Readability: 11.4
  • Word Count: 1297


  • David E. Brown and Randall D. Babb,
    Arizona Game and Fish Department, May/June 2016
  • Angela J. Mitchell

Standards Correlation

This lesson has been correlated to the following Arizona Department of Education academic standards:

  • 4th Grade

    1. 4.L4U1.11
  • 5th Grade

    1. 5.L4U3.11
  • 6th Grade

    1. 6.L.2U3.12
  • 7th Grade

    1. 7.L1U1.11
  • High School

    1. HS.L4U1.28
    2. HS+B.L4U1.14

Education through AZGFD

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The goal of the AZGFD education program is to promote awareness, appreciation and stewardship of the state’s wildlife resources by using wildlife as a context for learning.

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