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Adaptations: Camouflage

Standards: 3.4 The student will investigate and understand that adaptations allow animals to satisfy life needs
and respond to the environment. Key concepts include:
a) Methods of gathering and storing food, finding shelter, defending themselves and rearing young; and
b) Hibernation, migration, camouflage, mimicry, instinct, and learned behavior

I Can Statement: I can… explain how camouflage helps animals to survive in their environment

Key Vocabulary:
 Adaptation- the ways animals can change to fit their environment
 Physical Adaptation- an adaptation that is part of an animal’s body **camouflage
 Behavioral Adaptation- adaptation an animal does to fulfill life needs
o Instinctual- animal knows how to do this from birth
o Learned- behavior an animal must observe from others of their kind and perform to
survive
 Camouflage- a set of colorings or markings on an animal that help it to blend in with the
surroundings and increase its chance for survival by hiding from predators
 Habitat- place where animals live that fulfills their basic needs
 Predator- animals that hunts other animals for food
 Prey- animals that are hunted as food by other animals
 Survival- stay alive

Materials:
 Now You See It, Now You Don’t
 Experiment Results sheet
 Pencil
 Science notebook
 Pipe-cleaners (various colors)
 Cones/grassy area

Procedure:
 Before the lesson
o I Can statement- Whole Brain Teaching (camouflage-mirror with words; cover to
hide)
o Read Now You See It, Now You Don’t
 Ask questions about the book to expose students to different forms of
camouflage
o Explain directions for experiment

 Directions
1. Each student will receive a recording sheet- glue into INB
2. Students will get into their terrific teams
1. “You will be pretending to be birds of prey and your teams will be your “flock.”
Together, you are hunting worms (pipe-cleaner worms)”
2. “Eat like a bird”- your bird stomach can only handle 5 worms, too many and you will get
sick. Once you have hunted 5 worms, you may help fellow flock members find worms,
but you may not keep them for yourself.
3. Your habitat is going to be in a specific area of the grass and you must stay there during
the experiment. Why can’t you venture into other habitats? (your breed of bird isn’t fit to
live in these habitats)
3. Recording sheet will help you keep track of the different “prey” you will be hunting
outside.
1. Before you go outside and hunt, you must make a prediction for which prey will be the
easiest/hardest to find
4. When you are finished making predictions and following class rules, we will go outside.
5. Each team will be located to a specific area of the grass. The habitats/areas will be
marked off by cones and other designated boundaries (trees, poles, sidewalk, etc.)
**Make sure students are aware of the boundaries and expectations for behavior
6. When each team is evenly spread amongst the habitat, count to 5 and allow them 2
minutes to find as many worms as they can (up to 5).
1. If they find 5 worms before the time is up, they must stop collecting worms but help other
members of their flock find more (up to 5 per player).
7. After the timer goes off, students will record the colors of worms they found in their
group. The numbers recorded in the chart will be based on the group findings, NOT
individual findings to ensure variety in the data.
8. Once the colors have been recorded, students will return inside
9. Discuss as a class how the experiment went

Wrap-Up/Extension
1. What did you notice about your prey?
2. Which ones were easiest/hardest to find?
3. Did you see more of one color than another?
i. Why? (rarity of ones that are easily found)
4. Do you think predators help each other out in the real world?
i. Why do you think it was part of our experiment? (our species HELPS one
another)
5. Are prey the only animals who use camouflage? Why might predators camouflage? (hunt
without being seen)

***Students will complete the writing prompt portion of the recording sheet to be
turned in for an individual formative assessment.