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Pythons in the Wild

Where do pythons live? What do these notorious snakes look like? Create a fascinating 3-D science project in a recycled box.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to learn more about pythons by visiting teacher-recommended web sites. Read books such as Verdi by Janell Cannon or Snakes by Seymour Simon. Pythons and other snakes usually live in environments where they can hide from predators. In this project, students will create a natural python habitat diorama. A python might be found in water, in trees, or even curled up on a rock, depending on the type of python! Students use their imaginations and the information gathered to plan dioramas. These are some ideas.
    2. Cover a recycled cardboard box with construction paper that goes with the python theme. Cut or tear the paper to achieve a natural background look.
    3. Students cover work areas with recycled newspaper. Paint details into the scene and on the outside of the box. Mix colors to achieve a realistic look. Paint a cardboard tube to look like a fallen log upon which a python might rest. Air-dry the paint.
    4. Sculpt a Crayola Model Magic® pond or stream in the scene. Air-dry it for 24 hours before placing it into the scene.
    5. Glue the log and natural materials, such as moss, stones, and twigs, into the diorama.
    6. Cut large leaves from construction paper. Decorate them with Crayola Markers. Glue leaves to the inside of the box so they hang down around the inside of your diorama. Add leaves to the outside of the display, too.
    7. Roll out beautiful Model Magic pythons. Hang them over branches, around rocks, and in the water. Create other details with Model Magic and paper to complete the python display.
    8. Display dioramas with a summary report containing information researched about pythons.
  • 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 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 among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.

    SCI: Investigate the life cycles of plants and animals to compare similarities and differences among organisms.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Verdi by Janell Cannon; Snakes - Facts About the Most Polarizing Animals on Earth Plus Videos by Mark Farley; 25 of the Most Poisonous Animals in the World! by I. P. Factly

    Students investigate the anatomy of a python. Sketch the anatomy, label all significant parts, and write a 1-2 sentence explanation of the function of each part.

    Students create a Python Trivia card game. Generate questions from research and provide answers on the opposite side of the question card. Play! How well did you do?

    Students investigate a variety of pythons. Use Crayola Model Magic to create 3-D replicas of each species. Incorporate the newly researched species into dioramas.

    Students invent, create, and describe a unique species of python. Imagine the python's appearance, habitat, and behavior. Create a 3-D model of the newly invented species and compose a summary paragraph describing what you have imagined.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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