Animal Disguise and Surprise – Background

Insects in leaf litter, birds in thickets, frogs on the pond’s edge – all around us animals are hidden in plain sight. They have evolved a myriad of different disguises in response to constant pressure from keen-eyed predators. Animals can be variously colored, patterned, or shaped to blend into their surroundings, their disguise being most effective when they remain perfectly still. While some animals are concealed by camouflage, others warn off predators with bright colors, announcing danger in the form of bad taste, smell, or poison. While avoiding being eaten is an obvious benefit of effective camouflage, the ability to go unnoticed helps predators, too. It allows them to get closer to their prey before attacking, thus increasing their chances of success. In the end, whether predator or prey, those with the best disguise or surprise increase their chances of survival so that they might pass along these important characteristics to their offspring. Continue reading Animal Disguise and Surprise – Background

Animal Disguise and Surprise – Activities

FOCUS: All around you there may be animals hidden in plain sight. They can be variously colored, patterned, or shaped to blend into their surroundings. Some animals are concealed by camouflage, while others warn off predators with bright colors. Those with the best disguise or surprise will survive and pass along these important characteristics to their offspring.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about protective coloration in animals.

Show a photo or two of animals with protective coloration in the wild, and ask children to share what they see, notice, and wonder.

Materials: 1-2 photographs of animals with protective coloration.

ANIMAL DISGUISE AND SURPRISE SLIDE SHOW
Objective: To see examples of different types of protective coloration.

Show photographs of the different types of protective coloration – matching color, disruptive coloration, countershading, masking, warning and flash coloration. Continue reading Animal Disguise and Surprise – Activities

Animal Disguise and Surprise – Puppet Show

Bumble Bee-ware

Characters: Beulah Bumblebee, Greta Grouse, Wilbur Walkingstick, Farley Fawn, Benny Bagworm, Eddy Eft.

Props: branch

Beulah Bumblebee

            How nice to be a bumblebee,

            Flying along as free as free.

            Gathering nectar from flowers I see, Continue reading Animal Disguise and Surprise – Puppet Show

Animal Disguise and Surprise – Standards

ANIMAL DISGUISE AND SURPRISE ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Animal Disguise and Surprise – Standards