Teacher’s Questions for Moved by Life


Before reading

1. Using your own words, describe a robot.

2. Provide a few examples of how different animals move in ways best suited to the environments in which they live.

During reading

1. How do sandfish escape predators?

2. How did Dan Goldman and his team reveal how sandfish move below the sand?

3. What do sandfish do with their legs while moving this way?

4. Define “biomimicry.”

5. Explain why it can be so difficult to move through sand.

6. Describe the pattern followed by sandfish while “swimming.”

7. Why are cownose rays such superb swimmers?

8. What is surface tension?

9. Describe how a water strider moves.

After reading

1. For what purposes could we use robots inspired by sandfish, cownose rays and water striders?

2. Give an example of an animal not mentioned in the story, explain how it moves and then invent some practical use for a robot inspired by this animal’s movements.


1. Imagine you were an urban planner. You have been asked to find ways to reduce traffic on your city’s roads during rush hour. Where could you look in nature for inspired ideas? Provide some examples — and explain why you picked them.

2. The sandfish is native to the Sahara Desert. Locate this important desert on a map. The Sahara covers all or parts of which countries?