Talk to students about how animals have adapted over hundreds of thousands of years in order to survive in their environment. Polar bears have fur to help them stay warm in the arctic. Gekkos have suction pads on their feet to allow them to climb walls. And a green tree frog is camouflaged in its environment.
Many animals have also adapted defence mechanisms to help them survive against predators in their environment. A defence mechanism is a reaction an animal has to its environment, specifically predators, which helps it survive.
Students research different animals using:
Examples of suitable animals are: frill-necked lizard, praying mantis, snake, caterpillar, zebra, anglerfish, dart frog, sleeper fish.
Students select one animal for their diagram.
They create a diagram of their chosen animal using labels to describe the features of the defence mechanism. For example: Frill-necked lizard – camouflage, frill, neck, scales.
Students may choose to label more than just defence mechanisms.
Students group the different defence mechanisms into categories such as mimicry (sounds or looks like another animal), light (bioluminescence), coloration, pretending to be dead, trickery or physical or chemical combat.