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Lesson Plan

Animals sensing and responding to light

Summary: 
Learn how animals respond to different light colours, and how colours are used for camouflage.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)
Biology: Evolution, Natural Selection (7)
Materials: 
  • materials in the activities
Procedure: 

Optional introduction and discussion of human vision.
Some people cannot see in all colours - they are colourblind. Colourblindness can be very mild or more severe. At night, none of us can see in colour.
People that are completely blind use their other senses more.

Light attraction by brine shrimp experiment, to find out that brine shrimp move towards green-blue light, most likely to find food.
(Optional: show how pond organisms (e.g. cyclops) are attracted to light, to show that light attraction is a general phenomenon.)

Experiment with coloured filters to look at undersea drawings, where there is only blue light.
In the blue of the ocean, animals use colour to camouflage against the dark rocks.

Matching game with ultra violet bee vision.
Snakes have good Infra Red vision (heat), for detecting prey.

Notes: 

Britannia spent a while looking at brine shrimp under the microscope, then did the shrimp light activity, then coloured filters for undersea colours.
Selkirk did shrimp activity, coloured filters then bee card game.

Grades taught: 
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 6
Teaching Site: 
Britannia Elementary
Selkirk Elementary