Chameleons are cute, clever and have the ability to blend in completely with their surroundings – what a fantastic animal to learn about in your class!
The rise in popularity of this little creature certainly rose when Pascal appeared on our screens (he’s from Disney’s Tangled if you didn’t know that already! Great movie by the way).
This idea isn’t actually mine. Yes, I saw the teacher in the class next door put up these wonderful displays and thought – wow! Sadly I haven’t actually done this activity myself yet – not enough hours in the classroom! This was done though in a grade R/1 class.
So what did she do first? She introduced the chameleon to the class by reading Eric Carle’s The Mixed Up Chameleon. There is also a video version of this story available on DVD. It is a story about a chameleon who wishes to be lots of things, other than himself, and with each page ends up with another creature’s limb or two. Yes, he gets very mixed-up indeed and finally realizes that he is perfect the way he was to begin with.
After reading the story the teacher shared a few books with the class. The “Hidden in the…” series is very good and students you can read well yet can still enjoy learning1
She had pre-cut pieces of cardboard in a rectangular shape (mainly the flaps of boxes). She had each child cut the V bits at the top and bottom. Each child was given a sheet of overhead transparency and drew a chameleon on it with permanent marker and cut it out. Then it was time to go outside and collect lots of natural materials such as leaves, bark and twigs.
Back in classroom she let the students choose the colour wool and demonstrated winding it around (up and down) the cardboard to make the vertical lines. Then the students wove their natural bits in place before adding their own chameleon. It is a fantastic display…
For older students you might want to give this activity a go though (as long as you love working with paint!).
Each student painted two pieces of A4 cartridge paper with the same two colours (red and orange / purple and blue versions shown). One piece became the background and on the other a chameleon was drawn and cut out. The joggle eyes just complete it so!
Perhaps you will try one of these ideas in the new year!
Chameleon clipart by Foca.tk