A Color Of His Own Lesson Plan

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

This lesson plan uses 'A Color of His Own' to teach about animal camouflage and explore the theme of friendship in a group activity. It also includes a story extension activity.

Lesson Objectives

As a result of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  • tell why chameleons change colors.
  • name other animals that use camouflage.
  • demonstrate their understanding of the story by creating an illustration that extends the story.
  • identify the theme of friendship in A Color of His Own.


  • 1-2 hours

Curriculum Standards


With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.


With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Camouflage
  • Friendship


  • A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni
  • Chameleon shapes to cut out
  • Scissors
  • Materials for writing and drawing
  • Age-appropriate books or articles about other animals that use camouflage -Some possibilities include: Animals in Camouflage by Phyllis Lymbacher Tildes, Camouflage (Science for Toddlers) by the American Museum of Natural History.

Lesson and Activities

  • Read the book A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni.


  • Discuss with the class:
    • Why do you think the chameleon changed colors everywhere he went?
    • How could changing colors keep the chameleon safe?
    • Can you think of other ways animals try to keep themselves safe?
  • Introduce the term ''camouflage.'' Create a three-column KWL (know/want to know/learned) chart with the students on the board or chart paper. In the first column, record K: What do they know about camouflage? In the second column record W: What do they want to know about camouflage? Leave the third column blank until later.
  • Read an age-appropriate book/article about animals using camouflage.
  • Return to the KWL chart, and discuss what you learned about camouflage, filling in the third column of the chart.

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