Where in the Wild?

AAAS Science NetLinks
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



Using the book titled Where in the Wild? Camouflages Creatures Concealed and Revealed by Davide Schwartz and Yeal Schy students develop an understanding of how particular features help animals survive. This lesson focuses on the use of camouflage as a feature animals use to hide from predators and help them to catch prey.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

1-LS1-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

Clarification Statement: Examples of human problems that can be solved by mimicking plant or animal solutions could include designing clothing or equipment to protect bicyclists by mimicking turtle shells, acorn shells, and animal scales; stabilizing structures by mimicking animal tails and roots on plants; keeping out intruders by mimicking thorns on branches and animal quills; and, detecting intruders by mimicking eyes and ears.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This lesson is one resource used in a storyline as children move toward meeting the full standard. As students make observations of animals camouflaged in their environments students can use this information in a larger study to design a solution to human's need for survival, growth and meeting our needs.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The resource allows for students to build observational knowledge used to solve a specific problem.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Teacher's use of science talk along with this text can promote the core ideas of animals using camouflage to protect themselves, seek and find food. The teacher may use the described animal cut-out/newspaper extension activity to illustrate the effectiveness of camouflage.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students may to asked to identify and compare designed objects related to natural shapes and structures. This investigation will allow for students to connect how observations of the natural world aid human survival.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: To bring added value to the experience teachers may provide opportunity for students to observe animals in their natural habitat. A nature walk with ample opportunity to explore and discover for themselves the power and delight of camouflage.

  • Instructional Supports: This lesson suggests vocabulary words that might need to be introduced to younger students. The teacher, to best meet the needs of the students, may include visuals for each term and added vocabulary development by classifying animals and providing multiple examples.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Student assessment is based in teacher observation and discussion. Providing students with additional opportunities to redraw the pictures they drew in the motivation section of this lesson to try to "hide" their animal in a better camouflage allows for continued formative assessment.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The lesson plan provides an online interactive, Nowhere to Hide. The text is above the independent reading level of most students in kindergarten through late second grade. The online interactive is simple suggesting one viewing.