Winter Camouflage

Children will learn about camouflage.


Lesson Objective

Children will explore camouflage and how some animals change to blend into their winter environment.


What You'll Need

  • Summer pictures of an arctic fox and snowshoe hare (see Lesson Tips)
  • Winter pictures of an arctic fox and snowshoe hare (see Lesson Tips)
  • Rabbit patterns – 1 per child (see Lesson Tips)
  • Pencils – 1 per child
  • Brown construction paper – 1 sheet per child
  • White construction paper – 1 sheet per child
  • Child-safety scissors – 1 per child
  • Snow on the ground (see Lesson Tips)

What To Do

  1. Display the pictures of the fox and snowshoe hare (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
  2. Discuss camouflage with the children (see Did You Know?).
  3. Distribute rabbit patterns, construction paper, and pencils to the children.
  4. Have the children trace the rabbit pattern on each piece of construction paper and cut them out.
  5. Collect the brown and the white rabbits. With snow on the ground, place the cut out rabbits, both brown and white, on the ground.
  6. Take the children outside and instruct them to find the rabbits.
  7. Return to the classroom once all the rabbits have been found.
  8. Discuss which rabbits were easier to find—the brown ones or the white ones (see Did You Know?).

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • Tell me how the summer pictures of the fox and hare are different from the winter pictures.
  • Describe how the summer pictures are the same.
  • Describe how the winter pictures are the same.
  • Explain why the brown rabbits were easier to find than the white ones.
  • Explain how some animals, like the snowshoe hare, blend into their environment.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Together, read the digital storybook Lizard on the Loose! The classroom pet lizard, Henry, is missing! Join the fun as Elmo and Abby look all over the classroom for Henry, who has found a little camouflage! Go to Reading Adventures, a series of five Sesame Street digital storybooks focused on vocabulary development and choose Lizard on the Loose!
  • Play a game of hide and seek with the children. Have the children compare the colors of their clothing. Ask them how their clothing colors combined with the environment helps to make them easier or harder to find.
  • Take your class outside to look for animals and birds. Discuss how the animals’ colors help them to blend in with their environment. If there is snow on the ground, ask the children where they think the animal could find a place to be camouflaged if it wanted to blend in with its environment.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children describe the differences and similarities between the summer and winter pictures?
  • Could children explain why the brown rabbits were easier to find than the white ones?
  • Could children explain how some animals, like the snowshoe hare, blend into their environment?


Did You Know?

Winter is the coldest season of the year. Some animals grow new, thicker fur to help keep out the harsh wind and cold. On some animals this new fur is white to help them hide in the snow. Through this change, the animal is becoming camouflaged to blend in with their surroundings. Camouflage is how an animal blends into its environment, hiding from a predator or prey.

Some animals, such as the arctic fox and the snowshoe hare, change between brown and white as the seasons change in order to be concealed against their surroundings. Patterns also help protect animals. For instance, a fawn has spots that help it hide from predators. Color can also provide a warning. A skunk has a white stripe down its back that announces the presence of an especially good defense system.

Vocabulary: Child-Friendly Definitions

  • camouflage – a way of hiding something by covering or coloring it to look like its surroundings.
  • arctic fox – a wild mammal that has a pointed nose, pointed ears, and a long thick tail that lives in the region around the North Pole.
  • snowshoe hare – a large rabbit that has large feet with brown fur in the summer and white fur in the winter.
  • environment – everything that surrounds a living thing and affects its growth and health; the natural world.
  • blend – to mix so that there no longer seem to be separate parts.
  • winter –the season of the year between autumn and spring.

Lesson Tips

  • Search online or in books to find summer and winter pictures of artic foxes and snowshoe hares.
  • Search online to find a simple rabbit-shaped tracing pattern. The simpler the better, as it will be easier for the children to trace and cut out.
  • If snow is not available, cover a large area with white sheets or several lengths of butcher paper taped together for the children to experience the concept of blending in.


  • What Color is Camouflage? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science Stage 2) by Carolyn B. Otto
  • Hiding in the Polar Regions (Creature Camouflage) by Deborah Underwood
  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  • Hidden in the Snow by Barbara Taylor

Home School Resources

Home educators: use these printable lesson PDFs to teach this lesson to your home schoolers. They're available in English and Spanish.

Home/School Connections

Las Conexiones a la Casa

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Content Provided By

Common Core State Standards Initiative – These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge [1]. Visit the CCSS