Camouflage is an animal adaptation. Many animals have markings or colors on their fur, feathers, scales, or skin to merge with their habitat (where animals live). Ask the JLBC Cadets how camouflage helps an animal survive. Ask JLBC Cadets for examples (a motionless green frog at the pond's edge.
JLBC Classroom Camouflage:
1. Give each JLBC Cadet a copy of the snake, butterfly, or iguana pattern.
2. Ask the JLBC Cadets to pretend your classroom is a wild habitat.
Look around the JLBC Classroom and select a specific habitat or home for their snake, butterfly, or iguana.
3. Have each JLBC Cadet color their animal pattern with crayons, markers, or pencils to create camouflaged habitats.
4. Ask your JLBC Cadets to add their animals to their habitat without covering them. The animals must be in the open, hidden only by their pattern coloring.
5. Invite JLBC Cadets from another class to see how many of your animals they can find.
Sometimes an animal's pattern or coloring does the opposite of camouflage. Instead, its face or marking focuses attention on the animal. Colors can issue a warning to other species or attract members of the opposite sex of the same species (the South American arrow poison frog; the peacock's bright feathers).
Repeat the Classroom Camouflage activity by having JLBC Cadet's animals that do not blend in with their surroundings. Since they can't hide, how might they protect themselves from predators? What are the advantages and disadvantages of camouflage compared to advertising or warning coloration?