Sunday, February 17, 2013

Camouflaged Chameleons

We have been learning all about animals for the past few weeks. As I was perusing pinterest, I found an excellent idea for teaching the concept of animal adaptation and camouflage.The author of this blog used butterflies, but I decided to use chameleons for the project in my classroom. 

I read Leo Lionni's A Color of His Own to the class. It's a delightful tale about a chameleon who wants to have a color of his own and becomes upset when he is constantly changing to blend in with his environment. He's green on a leaf and yellow on a lemon. He does not have a color of his own!
I gave all of the students their own chameleon when I finished reading the book. (I traced the chameleon from the front cover and made enough copies for each student.)

Each student was instructed to cut out his or her chameleon and hide it somewhere in the  classroom where it was completely visible. The students then colored their chameleons so they were completely camouflaged with their environment. 

Can you spot three chameleons in the picture below? 

A closer look:

I love that this student made the chameleon's eye the "o" on the non-fiction label on my book bin. It was so well camouflaged! After all of the chameleons were camouflaged in our classroom environment, we invited one of the first grade classes to come and find them all. Some of them were camouflaged so well that my 2nd grade students had to give the 1st graders a few hints!

We've spent the past few weeks learning about animal life cycles, adaptations, offspring, traits inherited from parents, etc. One of my students was so excited this week when she was reading another book and found the word "offspring" in it. She ran up to me right away and said, "Miss Schneider! Miss Schneider! Look, it's offspring! We're learning about that in science and I found it in this book too." Don't you just love when they make those text-to-self connections? 

As the culminating project for our animal unit, my students are conducting their own research for an animal of their choice. I have students researching bunnies, cheetahs, pandas, snakes, sharks, dolphins, kittens, dogs, seals, gorillas, etc. As you can see below I often take advantage of the 50 book limit at the public library. My students are loving the animal research project and can't wait to get started on it every day. They will present their findings to the class next week. They've already learned some really interesting facts!


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