Animal Defenses

Grades Preschool—K

Written by Jean C. Echols

If you imagined away an animal's claws (or teeth or horns or stinger), what would it be? Somebody's lunch, presumably. Beginning with just such a defenseless imaginary prototype, this highly visual unit invites children to add protective structures to help "their animal" cope with the big, predatory world. Using Tyrannosaurus rex as star predator, the first session introduces the concept of defense, sparking the idea with classroom dramas and illustrated encounters. Session 2 elaborates on defensive behaviors, drawing on such familiar contemporary animals as cats, dogs, and reptiles to study how defensive mechanisms can include cryptic coloration, hiding, playing dead, or climbing a tree. Enthusiastic role-play brings these and other defensive behaviors to life. This unit is an excellent way to introduce the biological concept of predator/prey and help young students understand the distinction between defensive structures and defensive behaviors. The GEMS guide Hide a Butterfly explores the concepts of camouflage and predator/prey as they apply to one insect, making it a natural "zoom-in" follow-up to this unit.

Time: One 45-minute session, one 20-minute session.

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ISBN: Grade Level Format Price
0-924886-88-9 Preschool—K 2 Sessions,
52 pages

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