Camouflage is a factual book that gives descriptions and examples of some of the fascinating kinds of camouflage used by animals. Why animals need camouflage and how they use it are some of the details presented in this book. It also discusses the development of camouflage.
Children should use a variety of strategies to determine word meaning and comprehend text. The targeted strategy for this lesson is: One to one correspondence.
This book contains some vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to the reader. By using the pictures as they read, children will be able to make sense of the text.
Word and Print Skills
Sentence parts (subject and predicate)
You will likely address a number of comprehension skills as children work to understand the text. The targeted comprehension strategy for this lesson is: Compare and contrast.
Have the children compare and contrast seasonal blending with color change. Ask: How are they the same and how are they different?
The text and images are very closely related in this book. Visual learning will be helpful in children's comprehension of the text. Because the concept of camouflage is a visual one, each image will demonstrate what is being discussed in the text, enabling children to see examples of the ideas presented.
Targeted Vocabulary Words
Camouflage, permanent, patterns, environment, background, surface, advantage
These content words relate to camouflage and animal coloring.
Introducing the Book
Show the children the book and ask: What do you think this book will be about? Do you think it will be a fact book, or fiction? Why do you think so?
Turn to the back of the book. Have children look at the glossary. Ask: Does this remind you of anything? Explain that a glossary is a lot like a dictionary. It defines words, but it only defines the difficult words from the book. Point to the word conceal on page 5. Now point to the word conceal in the glossary. Read the definition aloud. Explain that children can sometimes make reading the book easier by reading the glossary first, even if they also have to look up a word while they are reading.
Start a discussion with children about camouflage. Ask: Have you ever seen an animal use camouflage? How did they use it? Where did you see the animal? Ask: Why would animals need camouflage?
There should be a lot of predictions from children. Write their predictions on the board and see if they match up later. Explain that predictions cannot be wrong, because they are only guesses. They might not be true, but a prediction is only what could possibly happen. Scientists use predictions all the time, and while they are sometimes not the reality, they are often a good start to understanding ideas.
Have the children look at the cover of the book. Ask: What do you think camouflage is? Why do animals use camouflage? Have children name some ways that animals use camouflage.
Have children look at the picture on page 18. Ask: Do you think it would be interesting to watch an animal trick a predator? Have them look at the picture on page 26. Ask: Can you think of other animals that trick their predators? What about animals that hunt for their food? How do you some predators trick their prey? How might a person trick an animal or another person?
Discuss any reading strategies children can use to help them read.
- How will the pictures help you read the words?
- What can you do when you come to a word you cannot read?
- What can you do if you don't understand a part you have just read?
- How can you use a glossary to find out the meaning of a word you don't know?
Have children read the book with a partner. Review some of these strategies readers use while:
- Reading for context clues by reading ahead.
- Rereading when the story does not make sense.
- Checking the pictures to see if they will help with context clues.
Comprehending the Text
Have children compare two types of camouflage. Have them describe how the types are similar and how they are different. Ask: Which of the types of camouflage were you familiar with before you read the book and which types were new to you?
Now have children compare and contrast two animals in the story. Ask: How is a baby seal similar to a polar bear? How about a baby seal and an adult seal? How are the animals different from each other?
Holding the book so children can see it, point to the picture on page 18. Ask: Did you know that when you see fireflies, they are trying to trick another kind of firefly? Ask: Have you ever seen a leaf insect or a stick bug? Was it hard for you to see? Were you surprised when it moved?
Write the words orchid, blotch, think, physical, and shape on the board. Ask children what they think the words have in common in their spelling. Explain that the words each have two letters that make one new sound when they are next to each other. Have children come up and circle the digraph in each word.
Explain that the reason we have to use two letters to spell one sound (in this case) is that there is no letter in the alphabet that makes the sound. Say: The letter t makes the /t/ sound. The letter r makes the /r/ sound. There is no single letter to make the sounds in the words on the board, so we have to combine two letters to spell those sounds.
Grammar - subject and predicate
Have children turn to page 6 and look at the sentence with the quotation marks. Have them find the subject of this sentence and the predicate. Then have them turn to page 12 and read the first sentence on the page. Ask: Which part of that sentence is the subject and which part is the predicate?
Explain that the subject of a sentence is usually a person, place, or thing. The predicate of the sentence is the action and everything else in a sentence that follows the subject. In other words, the subject of a sentence is the "who" and the predicate of a sentence is the "what." Write the following sentences on the board:
Chad went to the store.
Amy drove to work.
Jeff ate a gigantic sandwich.
Stacey went to school.
The elephant stepped on the log.
Have volunteers come up and underline the subject of each sentence. Have them circle the predicate.
Hand out Worksheet 2 and help children complete these worksheets.
Expand the Reading
Have children write a story about an animal that needs to be able to disguise itself and is having a problem. It can be a story in first person or in third person. Explain that first person means the person telling the story is a character in the story, so they will use I sentences. For example: "What I saw that day on the hill changed my life forever." If the story is in third person, the person telling the story will be outside of the story and the writer will use he or she sentences. For example: "When he saw the moose charging at him, Steve got out of the way."
To prompt thinking about plot, ask: What sort of animal would you like to write about? How could the animal disguise itself? What could happen if the animal could not disguise itself? What if it hid itself too well?
Have children draw an imaginary animal and its appearance without its disguise and its appearance with its disguise. They should color their animals to show distinct differences and include a background for their animals to blend into.
Have children read the book independently or with a partner. You can also encourage them to read other books of their choice at the appropriate level.
Have children take their book home and share what they have learned with family members. Have them look for insects, lizards, or other animals that may live around their homes. Be sure to explain they should not catch the animals but that looking at them is fine. Have them share their experiences about the types of animals they have encountered with the class.
- Monitor children's responses in the Comprehending the Text section to assess how well they understand the text.
- Monitor reading to see if children are using the effective reading strategies.
- Assess each student's ability to compare and contrast by discussing two different animals and having children give examples of similar and contrasting characteristics.
- Check the Comprehension and Skills Activity Sheets for following directions and completing the activity accurately.