Skip Navigation

Disguise! Disguise!

Main Core Tie

Science - 3rd Grade
Standard 2 Objective 2


Utah LessonPlans


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 brown construction paper cut into 1 inch squares placed in a bag)
  • 11" x 18" sheet of yellow, green, and brown construction paper
  • Disguise! Disguise! record page (pdf)

Goin' on a Worm Hunt

  • 100 four inch pieces of yarn of each color (green, brown, tan, red, and yellow)

For each student:

Camobug Quest

For each student:

Additional Resources


  • 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

Instructional Procedures

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).

Instructional Procedures

  1. Read a book about camouflage to the class.
  2. Assign partners and pass out materials.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Students change jobs and do again. Repeat until they have done each color once.


Goin’ on a Worm Hunt

  1. Sprinkle the worms (yarn pieces) in a grassy area of the schoolyard.
  2. Have students predict how many worms of each color they will pick up using the Disguise! Disguise! record page.
  3. 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.
  4. Students make a tally chart of the number of worms of each color they found.
  5. Discuss with the students what they learned from the hunt? What color worms were most easily found?
  6. Students graph their results using a pictograph to help illustrate how well camouflage works.

Camobug Quest

  1. Discuss with students how some animals use patterns to help them blend in with their environment. Show pictures if available.
  2. Give each student a copy of the Camobugs pattern.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 be found?

Family Connections

  • Students share their camoubug with their families.
  • Read books about camouflage.

Assessment Plan

  • Make observations of student’s ability to camouflage his/her bug.
  • Students work in groups to make a diaroma of an animal hiding in its surroundings.

Created: 09/30/2004
Updated: 02/04/2018