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This lesson provided by:
Author: Judith Crider
System:Dekalb County
School:Valley Head High School
Lesson Plan ID: 30002

Camouflage (Predator vs Prey) at Little River Canyon National Preserve


The hunter is the predator while the hunted is the prey. Both animals try to make themselves appear as part of their natural surroundings. Predators do not wish to be seen while hunting and prey want to hide when hunted.

This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.

Content Standard(s):
SC(K) 6. Compare size, shape, structure, and basic needs of living things.
SC(1) 4. Describe survival traits of living things, including color, shape, size, texture, and covering.
SC(2) 6. Identify characteristics of animals, including behavior, size, and body covering
AED(2) Visual Arts1. Apply a variety of procedures, methods, and subject matter in the production of two-dimensional works of art, including landscapes, still lifes, and relief prints.
ELA2013(K) 23. Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding. [RF.K.4]
ELA2013(K) 25. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative or explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic. [W.K.2]
ELA2013(K) 35. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail. [SL.K.5]
Local/National Standards:



Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will recognize the difference between predator and prey.
  • Students will visualize the color scheme of animals in their natural environment
  • Students will read and discuss What Do You Do When Something Wants To Eat You? Steven Jenkins


Additional Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will manipulate choices on an interactive web site.
  • Students will draw an animal and write a description of its cryptic coloration
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 61 to 90 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Book: What Do You Do When Something Wants To Eat You? Steven Jenkins

Attached Handout: Can You See Me?

Colored pencils or crayons

Technology Resources Needed:

Attached slide show Camouflage

Computer with Internet access



Many animals have a natural camouflage to help them survive. Cryptic Coloration is when the animal is a color similar to its environment. Prey animals need to blend into their background to avoid predators while predators need to blend into their background to avoid being seen by their prey. Its camouflage makes it appear as part of the background. Deer and rabbits have an earth tone to their coloration that helps them to hide in the woods from predators. Some animals even change color with the seasons of the year. An arctic fox has a white coat in the winter and a brown coat in the summer. Skin patterns can also be helpful with coloration to survive. The stripes on a tiger and zebra will confuse predators by breaking up the outline of its body. This is most affective when zebras are in a herd and a lion cannot make out one exact animal. Remember survival is greatest when you can blend in and not be detected. Some animals actually have a body shape that looks like part of the environment. Their body is made to fool others into thinking they are a leaf or stick. A typical stick bug can be very hard to find when it is on a tree or in a bush. Just try to remember that prey animals need to avoid predators while predators need to be able to sneak-up on their prey.

  1. First have class discussion on the words prey and predator. Draw a venn diagram on the board and label each circle. Have students to compare and contrast prey animals and predators. Be sure to list examples of each and how they are alike and different. Make sure they understand that some animals can fall into both categories. This would be a good time to discuss the food chain concept.
  2. Read aloud the book What Do You Do When Something Wants To Eat You? by Steven Jenkins. This could be read individually if you have enough copies of the book, or assign to read during center time before the lesson.
  3. Watch attached slideshow on camouflage. Make sure students try to interact and find each animal before the next slide shows where it is. You may want to adjust timing or make it where you change each slide when needed.
  4. Pass out attached handout. Make sure students have colored pencils or crayons. Have each student illustrate their own example of an animal using camouflage. Have them write a brief description about their illustration. Allow time to share or actually present their art work.
  5. Students with access to a computer can go to the following site:
  6. This interactive site allows them to decide if they want to be a prey animal or the predator. They can then pick the background and coloration of the animal. Then they can click on test and if they are the prey it will tell if they would get eaten or not. Predators will determine if they would be able to catch their prey. This could be done individually or in groups.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. CamouflageP.P..ppt
Assessment Strategies:

Teacher would use observation throughout each activity.

Art work and description on handout can be graded for completion.


  • Students could role play prey and predator.
  • Take colored toothpicks or macaroni and throw out in the grass. Then have students collect as many as they can. They will see that the green ones are harder to find. They could graph results.
  • Take class on an insect walk around campus trying to find grasshoppers or another harmless animal that blends into the environment.

  • Students could work in pairs to complete drawing handout.
  • As teacher reads book, make sure to show pictures and have class discussion in order to aid in comprehension.
  • Slideshow gives a visual reference for more visual learners.
  • Have students read other books that illustrate this kind of coloration in animals. For example: Hidden Walkingsticks by Meish Goldish
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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