Can I Hide In Namib?
Evaluation / Alternative Assessment
- Identify how certain species
survive in the Namib Desert through color
- Determine what techniques animals
in Namib use to hide from predators and to wait
- Compare and contrast the different
methods of survival of those species in the Namib
Different animals have different
adaptations of color and shape to protect themselves.
These colors and shapes have evolved over time so
that the species survives in the environment. The
Namib desert has many unusual creatures that have
adapted to the harsh environment through colors and
shapes that match the Namib ecosystem. (For more about this, watch
the PBS program The Living Edens "Namib", which aired on July
Target Grade Level:
Middle level students, grades 5-9
For each group of 3-4 students:
- One small cardboard box 8 x 11
inches or larger
- Quantity of sand to cover the
bottom of the box 1-2 inches deep
- Small pieces of different colored
paper strips or different colored cloth material,
1 x 2 inches cut into different shapes
- Student science journals
- Small sticks and rocks to place on
the sand container, either on the surface or
- Have students fill boxes with
sand. If different shades of sand are available,
use them as it will enhance the activity.
- Cut out different shapes of
colored paper approximately 1 x 2 inches. Use all
colors available so that students recognize some
colors are effective protectors and others are
- Have students place different
colored paper strips on the sand and determine
which colors would be best to conceal an animal
in the sand environment.
- Discuss what other colors might
help conceal a creature of Namib if there are
brush, sticks and/or rocks present.
- Record in science journals which
colors were best for concealment in sand, rocks
or around the sticks ( Which colors were the
most difficult to see).
- Compare and contrast the colors of
animals in the Namib Desert and which environment
they inhabit and record in science journals.
Have students report from groups ,
which colors were most effective in concealment in
the rocks, sticks and sand. Also have individual
students read the data entries from their science
journals. Draw a comparison between this activity and
the creatures that survive in the Namib desert.
Elementary students might enjoy
using plastic/rubber insects, snakes, etc. available
from science stores. These critters can be placed
on/in the sand, rocks and sticks to see how well they
match the surroundings.
High School Extension:
Natural adaptation through colors
that protect should be the topic for high school
students. Students should take a field trip through a
forest to see if they are able to locate insects or
other creatures that blend in with the surroundings.
Research can be done on local creatures with respect
to protective colors.