Chameleons Are Cool! Listing, Describing & Art - MindWing Concepts, Inc.

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Chameleons Are Cool! Listing, Describing & Art

by Sheila Zagula April 13, 2018 3 min read

Chameleons Are Cool! book coverWho doesn’t love chameleons? I remember when I saw this book in our school library many years ago! I couldn’t wait to use it with our second grade students featuring the SGM List Map and Descriptive Map. At the time, I travelled from class to class, K-2, and brought SGM® Teacher Marker and Braidy the StoryBraid®, narrative and expository elements, into the classrooms.

Chameleon Information Sheet imageThis time around, I created an informational sheet for grade 2 from various sources to begin our lessons. Notice how the information could be easily entered on an SGM Descriptive Map using the categories Physical Appearance, Habitat, Food and Eating, Young, and Special Characteristics. We completed the project in three sessions.

Click to Download All Activity Sheets for This Blog
  1. Introduction: Show a short segment on chameleons AND/OR pictures of chameleons. Below are two short videos to get you started that we came across on Youtube, but there are many to choose from. Click on the picture to view:
    Video 1 YouTube link
    Video 2 YouTube link
  2. Read the prepared informational sheet with the students. (Included in download file.)
  3. State: “That is a lot of information. I have a way to organize the information to make it easier to remember!” Then, map out the information as shown below on a whiteboard, discussing with the students the categories used. Students can orally participate in this activity. This is a great modeling activity to lead to asking students to choose an animal and create a report.
    Chameleon Description image
    We have several links below that you may be interested in if you plan to study armadillos, cheetahs, and koalas:
  1. Introduce the book Chameleons are Cool by Martin Jenkins. Read the selection—which I know will be a hit—to the students for enjoyment. Don’t forget to place the book in your class library when the project is completed as it is one of those books that students will re-read frequently!
  2. Ask: “What have you learned about chameleons?” Have students TURN and TALK with a partner. Share orally with the group.
  3. List Map imageDistribute a List Map and ask students to list 5 things they learned about chameleons, answers will vary. (Map included in complete download file.)
  4. Chameleon Art ProjectIntroduce the art project. (Check out Pinterest for additional ideas to suit your needs!)
    • You will need:
      • Cellophane, available from craft stores, one color or various colors to choose from, cut into the size of the finished chameleon picture
      • Crayons
      • Chameleon Drawing imagePicture from the chameleon download
      • Small moveable eyes available at craft stores
      • Tape/glue
    • Students will:
      1. Color
      2. Glue the eye
      3. Choose and tape the cellophane over the picture at the top so that it can be lifted and put down (reminding us of the chameleon changing its colors!)
  1. Introduce the Noun Verse activity from Writing and Art Go Hand in Hand To Teach Language Skills by Diane Bonica. Although an older book, copies can still be found and worth the hunt! This is a wonderful resource for teachers.
    • Adjectives/-ing Verbs image
      Adjective Form image
      Final Art Project sample
      Brainstorm with students adjectives that describe a chameleon and action –ing verbs that relate to chameleons.
    • Distribute a “working copy” of the Topic/Adjectives/Action activity sheet.
    • Have students use colored pencils or crayons to complete the final copy and mount it on construction paper as shown.
  1. Invite students to take home the Information Sheet, List Map, Noun Verse, and the art project!

This is one cool project!

And don’t forget these two staples for any early elementary school classroom library:

Chameleon image

Sheila Zagula
Sheila Zagula

Sheila Zagula works with MindWing Concepts in product development, drawing on her expertise and talents as well as many years of implementing the Story Grammar Marker® and related materials. Her teaching career spans thirty-eight years, most recently as literacy coach in the Westfield Massachusetts Public School System. Sheila has experience as an early childhood educator, a teacher of children with special needs, and a collaborative instructor within an inclusion framework serving children in grades K-5.

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