Information provided for classroom use only;
not for publication.
Find out what the students already know, or think they know, about chameleons by
completing a chart as a class: What We Know About Chameleons. Keep the
chart so that it can be revisited at the end of the week to check and see if
what they knew was correct.
A chameleon is a lizard that is able to change
it's skin color.
A chameleon can turn pink, brown, blue, red,
orange, green, black and yellow.
Unlike what is commonly thought, chameleons
do not change colors to match their surroundings.
Chameleons change colors due to their
physical condition, mood, temperature, light exposure,
and efforts to communicate and attract a
Chameleons are naturally colored for their
surrounding as a camouflage.
A chameleon is a reptile.
Chameleons are found in Africa, Asia, and
Chameleons have a poor sense of smell and
are almost deaf.
They have very good vision.
There are 100 different species of
*Writing Assignment: Have the students do research on chameleons
if necessary and then complete the one of the following writing assignments.
Created and shared by Alice Thomas
Listen to the story on tape. (you can record it yourself or purchase the book &
After listening to the story and/or reading
it, discuss the story elements: title, author, setting, characters, main
character, something that happened in the beginning of the story, middle, end,
problem, solution, was the author's intent to entertain, inform, or persuade the
reader, what was the lesson learned?
I created story element
pocketchart cards for this activity. Print the story element cards below
on cardstock, laminate and cut out. Place them in your pocketchart one
story element per row. The activity can be done in a couple of ways.
As you're discussing each element, you can jot down the answers of the students.
Later make answer cards from their answers by writing them on sentence strips
(one answer per story element). OR, you can have premade answer cards and
as a student supplies the answer, place the answer card in the pocketchart
beside the story element. (This is what I'll do)
The next day, after reading
the story again, review the story elements. Then remove the answer cards
and pass out to students making sure that everyone can read their answer card.
(for lower level students, you can quietly read the answer card quickly with
them as you had them the card) Then go back to the pocketchart and read
the story elements. As each element is read, the student with the correct
answer card should raise their hand and read their card. If it's correct,
they place the card back into the pocketchart beside the correct story element.
The next day, you could have
all the answer cards in the pocketchart, but have them placed mixed up and have
the students take turns putting the answer cards in the correct place.
After the activity has been
sufficiently reviewed, you can remove the answer cards and place them and the
pocketchart with the story elements in a work station or center for the students
to complete individually or in pairs.
story element cards
Have students read or listen to the first paragraph of the story. Have
them create their own booklet for the paragraph. Write one sentence on
each page and illustrate it. For example:
1) A small green
chameleon sat on a green leaf.
2) He moved to a
brown tree and turned brown.
3) He got on a red
flower and turned red.
4) When he got on
the sand he turned yellow. You could hardly see it.
*Shared Reading & Concepts About
the sentences from each page to make a pocketchart activity so that they can be
read together. The teacher will point at each word as it's being read.
Then the students can match pictures to each sentence. The picture cards
are made by using clipart, printing onto cardstock and laminating.
I've converted the printables for this to
so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open
The Mixed-Up Chameleon Pocketchart Pictures
I wish I could be
big and white like a polar bear. (white polar bear)
I wish I could be
handsome like a flamingo. (pink flamingo)
I wish I could be
smart like a fox. (red fox)
I wish I could swim
like a fish. (orange fish)
I wish I could run
like a deer. (brown deer)
I wish I could see
things far away like a giraffe. (yellow giraffe)
I wish I could hide
in a shell like a turtle. (green turtle)
I wish I could be
strong like an elephant. (blue elephant)
I wish I could be
funny like a seal. (purple seal)
I wish I could be
like people. (people)
I wish I could be
I also made
an extra set of the text (on yellow sentence strips) and cut them apart.
(in bag) Students can use to match the text.
can use the same pictures/sentences above to practice sequencing in the pocketchart.
They can sequence the pictures and/or sequence the sentences.
*Word Order: Make a
second set of sentence strips using another color and cut the words apart.
Students will build the text next to the sentences in the pocketchart using the
word cards. (in a wide pocketchart .. if using a standard pocketchart you'll
probably have to provide a model of the sentences printed onto cardstock) Word
cards will be cut close to the word so that emphasis can be placed on the
student creating “meatball” spaces between the word. Lower ability students can
match the words to the text by placing the word card OVER the matching word in
the text (sentence strips that aren't cut apart). More advanced students
can create the sentences without a model. You may want to separate each
sentence into a ziplock bag to make it a little easier.
Student can choose one sentence from the pocketchart activity above to copy on
his paper and illustrate.
*Song Chart: This is posterboard
size and the chameleons are clipart from the 'net. I added a strip of grass border across the bottom and some flying insect stickers
before laminating. Do you just hate that laminating glare on pictures? :(
But the chart turned out cute and the kids like it and the song.
Use a chameleon illustration and copy onto different colors of cardstock.
Create some color words cards so that they can match them to the correct color
When I actually started
creating this I changed up my idea. Carol, at
The Learning Tree,
shared one of her ideas with me using letter tiles and I adapted it (of course,
we both do that ;) ) and came up with this activity. In this activity the
student has to match the correct color chameleon to the one on the card AND then
build the color word using the letter tiles. They fit into the blank
boxes. You can buy yellow letter tiles from the teacher catalogs or you
can purchase white letter tiles from Wal-Mart for around $4 a set. I have
both. I prefer the ones from Wal-Mart because they are thinner and take up
less room in my letter case (a plastic nuts and bolts storage case also from
Wal-Mart). The chameleon pattern I had in my files and it's originally
from The Mailbox online. (Thanks Carol for sharing your ideas and your
template! ;) )
When I first came up with this idea, well .. after the first, first :), I was
going to make the mats above but put "green" on green, and "red" on red to show
the way the chameleon's skin changes to camouflage himself. Then after I
got into it, I realized that the colored mats would give away the color word, so
I changed the idea. You could use the "camouflaged" version with
preschoolers who are working on learning their colors and leave off building the
word if you liked.
*Story Innovation: Students can
own story using the same format: I wish I could be .... or they can work
together to create a classbook. Each student would complete the sentence
frame and illustrate their own page, then all the pages would be compiled
together to make a book. I suggest typing up each student's sentence on
page for them to illustrate rather than relying on them to print it correctly.
I feel like if you're going to "publish" something like this that it should be
in an easily read format.
Have students decide what they'd rather be and graph the results as a class
(polar bear, flamingo, fox, fish, deer, giraffe, turtle, elephant, seal, person,
You can create a class pictograph by having each student write their name on a
boy or girl die-cut. Each student would place their die cut in the correct
spot on the graph. (Use bulletin board paper or a white plastic shower
curtain to create the graph and the printables from above for the column icons)
Students can use the class graph to transfer to their own graph and create a bar
printable student graph and graph questions
*Interpreting a Graph:
Answer questions on response sheet using graph. For example:
many people would rather be a turtle?
many people would rather be a giraffe?
many people in all chose to be a giraffe or a turtle?
many people are in the class?
Which one was chosen more?
Which one was chosen less?
Were any the same?
*Have students draw what they'd rather be (from the choices
above) and write why they chose that answer.
the story having the chameleon visit a circus, a school, a hospital, etc.
instead of a zoo.
Cut a chameleon graphic(s) into half. Program head side with a capital letter &
tail side with a lowercase letter. Can use different graphics or different
Chameleon ABC Matching Cards
*Beginning Sounds Match:
Chameleon graphic with lowercase letter & match to picture that begins with same
printable beginning sounds matching cards
Make words from the story using big chameleon graphic and the word written in
tiled letters. Students build the word underneath it using plastic letter
tiles. If you use a chameleon illustration instead of a graphic, you
can place the word on the chameleon. For animal words like turtle, fox,
giraffe, etc., you can use graphics of the animal with the word instead of the
Use a graphic for each animal in story and write the word leaving off the last
HEARD ending sounding. Create ending sound cards. For words like
giraffe and turtle, you can use “fe” or "le" with a slash through the e
indicating that the e is not heard (silent).
*Beginning or Ending sounds:
Use animal graphics from story and place on a sentence strip vertically as it is
in the story. Program wooden clothespins with the beginning or ending sound
for each animal.
Have the student clip the correct pin with the beginning or ending sound to each animal
picture. OR, you could do both ... beginning sound clips on the left side
of the strip and ending sound clips on the right side of the clip. Be sure
to place your clips on the strip before programming them to insure that the
letters are programmed correctly. If you don't, you're liable to have
letters upside down.
Sentence strip pictures printable
*these are sized to fit
on a sentence strip vertically*
You can also use the activity above, but instead of programming the clothespins
with beginning sounds, you could program them with the animal names.
*Patterns: If you print
out multiple copies on the animal cards above, you can use them to practice
patterning in the pocketchart. Ex. giraffe, elephant, elephant
*Art: Give each student
animal parts or let them create their own. They will glue them together to
create a new kind of animal. They will need to name their animal and write
one sentence about it. They can use the sentence frame: I wish I were a
*Compare & Contrast:
After reading The Mixed-Up Chameleon several times, read Leo Leonni's
A Color of His Own several times. Then use a Venn diagram to compare
and contrast the two stories.
Watch the video of The Mixed-Up Chameleon. It's on the video with
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
A Color of His Own - Leo Lionni
Lizards - MM2096 Snips and Snails
A Color of His Own - The Mailbox Aug/Sept
Color Time - A - Z Language Games PreK - K
The Chameleon emergent
Vocabulary Planning Sheet
Literacy Bag for The
Language Experience Lesson (scroll down)
The Mixed-Up Chameleon resource
Bulletin Board - The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Mixed-Up Chameleon - Grade 2 lesson plan
Science-Literature Links - The Mixed-Up
The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Chameleons Science Lesson Plans (3rd)
Visiting Chameleon (Gr 2)
All Mixed Up
Who Am I?
Children's Art Exhibit - The Mixed-Up
Building Up Self-Esteem Through The Mixed-Up
The Mixed-Up Chameleon (story prop