Marsupials: Koalas

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11431

How long do you sleep at night? Would it be fun to sleep on a tree branch? If you could eat just one food all the time, what would it be? Climb into the life of a koala with cute videos and articles!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


There are many different types of marsupials. Do you know what cute little marsupial is pictured above? Don't you just want to find out more about these cuddly critters?

These marsupials are Koalas.

Do you remember what a marsupial is? If not, refer to the previous Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar. Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

A marsupial is a mammal with a pouch. Tell your parent or teacher what a mammal is. If you don't know for sure, read the lesson found in Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar. If you said that all mammals have fur or hair covering their bodies, they are warm-blooded animals, and they give birth to live babies that they feed with milk you nailed it!

Read on to learn about the interesting lives of koalas!


Koalas can be found in Australia's forests. They are tree-dwellers and spend most of their time in the trees. They have two paws with fingers that allow them to grasp tree branches. Their paws have tough skin that helps them stay comfortable in the trees. They have sharp claws that allow them to climb trees easily. They also have a curved spine that allows them to enjoy a restful sleep on the branches of trees.

Tell your parent or teacher one physical feature koalas have that allows them to live in the trees.

koala eating

Koalas use their paws to grab on to their favorite food, eucalyptus leaves. Their sense of smell allows them to find eucalyptus trees, where they can munch on the leaves. Eucalyptus leaves are high in fiber and have toxic oils. How do you think koalas are able to consume these leaves that are poisonous to other animals? Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

Koalas have strong stomachs that allow them to break down and take nutrients from the eucalyptus leaves. They only get about a quarter of the nutrients from the broken-down eucalyptus leaves. Their low-nutrient diet affects the amount of energy they have. Koalas sleep around twenty hours per day!

koala with joey

Koalas have one baby at a time. The baby is called a joey. Their joey spends about six months in the pouch. Once the joey is six months old, it will emerge from the pouch. The little joey will spend the next six months learning to climb, find food, and hide from predators. During this six-month period, the joey will latch on to its mother's back and learn how to survive with its mother. Once the joey is too big, the mother will no longer be able to carry it on her back.

koala carrying joey

Before moving on to the Got It? section, share three interesting facts you learned about koalas with your parent or teacher.

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