Students will learn how some animals disguise or camouflage themselves as a form of protection.
For each pair of students:
- One of each color
(yellow, green, and
paper cut into 1 inch
squares placed in a bag)
- 11" x 18" sheet of
yellow, green, and
- Disguise! Disguise! record page (pdf)
Goin' on a Worm Hunt
- 100 four inch pieces of
yarn of each color
(green, brown, tan, red,
For each student:
For each student:
- Hide and Seek, by National Geographic; ISBN 0792271025
- I See Animals Hiding, by Jim Arnosky; ISBN 0606196080
- What Color is Camouflage?, by Carolyn B. Otto; ISBN 0064451607
- Nature's Tricksters: Animals and Plants That Aren't What They Seem,
by Marie Batten; ISBN 0316083712
Background for Teachers
Some animals are so cleverly disguised that enemies walk right past
without seeing them. These disguises are part of their fight for survival.
Animals whose disguises help them to avoid being discovered by their
enemies will live longer and produce more offspring. Hunters can profit
from disguise, too. If you can look like a dead leaf, your prey may well
come within arm's reach.
Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
2. Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Invitation to Learn
Pass out white boards or paper and have students draw or write how
animals protect themselves in nature. Discuss what camouflage means
(how animals disguise themselves by blending into their surroundings).
- Read a book about camouflage to the class.
- Assign partners and pass out materials.
- Have students predict how many squares they can pick up in
five seconds on green paper, recording their predictions on the Disguise! Disguise! record page. While one student
closes his/her eyes, the other student places all of the colored
squares onto the large green paper.
- When the student opens his/her eyes s/he has five seconds to
grab as many colored squares as s/he can. Record number of
each color grabbed.
- Students change jobs and do again. Repeat until they have
done each color once.
Goin’ on a Worm Hunt
- Sprinkle the worms (yarn pieces) in a grassy area of the
- Have students predict how many worms of each color they will
pick up using the Disguise! Disguise! record page.
- Send students on a worm hunt, challenging them to see how many
worms they can find. Allow a short period of time for students to
hunt for the worms and then end the hunt.
- Students make a tally chart of the number of worms of each color
- Discuss with the students what they learned from the hunt? What
color worms were most easily found?
- Students graph their results using a pictograph to help illustrate
how well camouflage works.
- Discuss with students how some animals use patterns to help
them blend in with their environment. Show pictures if available.
- Give each student a copy of the Camobugs pattern.
- Challenge each student to select a “hiding” spot somewhere in the
classroom. They may decide on part of the wall, floor, a cabinet,
shelf, book, bulletin board, etc. Encourage students to choose a
location that has a color, texture, or pattern that they are able to
copy. The goal is to disguise their camoubug so well that it can “hide” in this special classroom site.
- Have students use crayons and scissors to camouflage their bug.
Have students arrange books around the edges of their desktop to
keep their camouflaging work a secret.
- When the disguise is complete, have students cut out the bug,
write their name on the back, and then line up in the hallway
outside the classroom. Allow one, or as many students as you
would like, to go back into the room and tape their bug to their
chosen spot. When all the bugs have been attached, you are ready
to go on a quest for the camoubugs.
- At this point there are several ways you can go on your quest. A
student may be selected to find a bug. When s/he finds a bug the
student whose name is on the back looks for the next bug. Or,
you can ask the principal to come in and see how many s/he can find in a given amount of time. Or, have students silently locate
as many bugs as possible within a set period of time, and list the
location on a small sheet of paper. Analyze the results of the
search using tally marks on the chalkboard—one mark for each
time a bug was spotted. Were there any camoubugs that could not
- Students share their camoubug with their families.
- Read books about camouflage.
- Make observations of student’s ability to camouflage his/her bug.
- Students work in groups to make a diaroma of an animal hiding in