Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A COLOR of his own

"If I remain on a leaf
I shall be green forever,
And so I too shall have a color of my own."

I love this story of transformation and friendship by Leo Lionni. Read it and then enjoy some fun CHAMELEON facts together...

Chameleons are REPTILES and members of the LIZARD family. Like all reptiles (such as turtles, snakes, alligators and crocs) they have hard, dry scales.

Their tongues are twice as long as their bodies. Show me your tongue! How long would your tongue be if it were "twice as long" as your body?? What do they use their sticky tongues to do? Catch bugs! Pretend to catch bugs with tongue, while rocking back and forth...

"They move very slowly with a rocking movement grasping a branch with feet and tail." * Their tails are PREHENSILE which means they can grip with them. Continue rocking back and forth and then grip the branch with your tail - reach back with one arm and pretend to grip branch!

They have "flattened" bodies with bulging eyes that move independently. Make binnoculars with your hands around your eyes and move them around separately.

And of course, chameleons change color! Insert fun color activity here such as: using different colors of construction paper, have your child stand in front of each while you ask, "What color are you now, Chameleon??"

Side note for grown-ups about color change in chameleons:

The changes in skin color, seen in certain other lizards as well, are under hormonal and nervous control. They are not affected by the color of the background but by stimuli such as light, temperature, and emotion and are used most dramatically in contests between rivals and to attract a mate. *


Finish things off with a craft by making polka dots on something, anything, the possibilities are truly endless, but if you want to tie-in to the resolution of the story, make sure your dots are white on something red..

"And so they remained side by side.
They were green together
and purple
and yellow
and red with white polka dots.
And they lived happily ever after."

sources: zoo curriculum and *encyclopedia.com