Seasonal Camouflage

Seasonal Camouflage lesson plan

Invite students to explore why the ability to change color with the seasons is so important to the survival of some animals. Then challenge your children to draw a snowshoe hare, or another creature, in seasonal camouflage.

  • 1.

    Challenge your students to find out the names of animals whose colors change with the seasons, such as the snowshoe hare, polar bear, white-tailed deer, and horned owl. With classmates, students compile a list of these creatures. Consider questions such as: What colors are these animals’ coats in winter? In summer? What is each animal’s natural habitat like? Identify their predators. Collect information and ideas about how camouflage makes a difference for predators and their prey.

  • 2.

    Using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, students outline a snowshoe hare, or other animal whose coloring blends in with its surroundings, on construction paper. Cut out the drawing with Crayola Scissors.

  • 3.

    Students fold a large piece of construction paper in half. Trace the animal twice, once on each side of the fold.

  • 4.

    Using the colored pencils, the information researched, and one's imagination, children draw one side to show the animal in its winter habitat. For example, in winter a snowshoe hare’s coat is white to provide protection in snowy fields.

  • 5.

    Next, challenge students to create a summer/fall habitat on the other side of the paper showing the animals’ coat and surroundings during that season.

  • 6.

    Using their colored pencil erasers, students create highlights on the animal and the vegetation that grows in its natural habitats.

  • 7.

    Set aside time in the school day to have students present their learning and artwork to classmates.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • MATH: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information that in any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Where in the Wild?: Camouflaged Creatures Concealed... and Revealed by David M. Schwartz & Yael Schy; See-Through Animals by Natalie Lunis; Color-Changing Animals by Valerie Yaw
  • Students create dioramas of animals in their natural habitats during various seasons. For example, show polar bears, white-tailed deer, or horned owls in their surroundings.
  • Students research insects that use camouflage to protect themselves, such as moths and walking sticks. These bugs are very difficult to see when they sit on leaves or stems. Students draw and label these insects to create a book of Hide & Seek bugs.
  • Students collaborate to write an original play and design costumes to portray animals in seasonal camouflage. Student create original costumes using recycled materials if possible. Prepare to present the play to classmates.