Friday, October 29, 2010

Activities, Ideas, & Lesson Plan for Chameleon's Colors by Chisato Tashir

Chisato Tashira is a gifted story teller and amazing illustrator/artist.  I highlighted her a few weeks ago in the post called Five Nice Mice.  Her books are worth checking out! 
Chameleon’s Colors (ages 4-8) by Chisato Tashiro
Chameleon is discontented because she always blends into her environment.  On the other hand, hippo is envious that chameleon has the capability to change colors.  Chameleon comes up with an ingenius idea:  Paint hippo to match the flowers in her environment.  She loves the idea and loves her new pink skin.  Chameleon spends the evening making paints of many colors.  The next day, all the other animals from lions to monkeys want their own unique skin, so chameleon paints them in the colors and patterns they love most.  He is the most popular animal in the jungle!   His popularity is short lived though.  When the animals realize they cannot tell a predator from a prey, they want to change their colors back to usual.  Fortunately, a rainstorm saves the day. The animals realize they are “perfect” the way God created them! 
I love the illustrations.  They are rich and vibrant.  The story is engaging and thought -provoking.  I used it as an opportunity to discuss fact vs. fantasy about chameleons, to practice making predictions,  and to compare to other chameleon stories. Here is my lesson plan and Story Comparison Chart.  In addition, there is Facts About Chameleons, How Animals See Color, Wanted Poster, and Real vs. Make Believe Chart .  

There are LOTS of great CRAFT ideas for chameleons:  Adorable Chameleon Craft Project, Chameleon Craft/Template, Heart Chameleon Paper Craft, Chameleon Toilet Paper Roll Craft, Paint Activity, Salt Watercolor Paintingand Chameleon Craft Project.
I used several other charming chameleon fiction books in this lesson plan:  The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle, A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, and Do You Still Love Me? by Charlotte Middleton.  In addition, I utilized some fantastic non-fiction books to learn about real chameleons.  You may be surprised, but they are nothing like they are portrayed in the books!   Check out these two non-fiction favorites. 

Chameleon, Chameleon (ages 4-10) by Joy Cowley  (non-fiction)
The author craftily unites the simple and informative text with numerous vivid photographs (by Nic Bishop) of a chameleon’s daily life.  His activities include encounters with prey, a predator, a mate, and other lizards.  Children will be delighted to take a colorful journey with this often misunderstood amphibian.  In the “Did you know” section at the back of the book, further information is provided.   

Chameleons (ages 4-8) by Jason Glaser (non-fiction)
This resource is more comprehensive than Chameleons, Chameleons.  The writing style is more formal but still understandable and interesting.   Glaser elaborates on their life cycle, their predators, their habitat as well as other amazing facts.  The illustrations are a combination of photographs and graphics though there are not nearly as many pictures as in the aforementioned book.  The appendix includes a glossary and other helpful resources. 


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