Camouflage - Nature

These three art pieces all feature animals that have excellent camouflage abilities. The
activities in this module encourage students to look more closely at the world of camouflage and
understand that animals use camouflage to protect themselves from predators.
Download the full learning guide for all activities.

Looking for Balance

Look at the artwork and answer the following questions:

Would this rabbit/hare be easy to see in your backyard?
What if there was snow on the ground?
Could this hare hide in the classroom?


  • Snowshoe Hares have large, fuzzy back feet. These work just like human snow shoes, allowing them to move easily across the snow.
  • Hares are fast – they can run over 25mph. They can leap over 9 feet in one hop.
  • Hares are different than rabbits. Baby hares are born ready for action – they are able to hop and run just a few hours after birth.
  • Snowshoe Hares are nocturnal.
  • Snowshoe Hares were extirpated from Ohio by the early 1900s due to loss of forest cover.
  • Many attempts have been made to reintroduce them to the state. None of these efforts have been widely successful.
  • Today, Snowshoe Hares are rare in Ohio, but can occasionally be found in the “snow belt” northern counties.

Art Piece

Looking for Balance
Taylor Robenalt

Sparrows in a Private Hedge

Look at the artwork and answer the following questions:

How many sparrows do you see?
Why do you think they are hiding?
Would this be a good place for a nest?
  • There are a lot of sparrows in Ohio. 18 different species can be found here every year, and another 10 species are rare visitors.
  • The common House Sparrow isn’t really a sparrow at all. It belongs to a group called weaver finches. House Sparrows were introduced to the United States in the late 1800’s.
  • Song Sparrows have complicated songs. Females choose a mate based on his ability to learn a variety of song components.
  • The oldest known Song Sparrow was over 11 years old.
  • Fox Sparrow fossils have been found from the Pleistocene – around 11,000 years ago.
  • Field Sparrows that nest early in the season build their nest low to the ground to hide in the grasses. Later nests are build higher in shrubs or taller plants to decrease predation.
  • In the winter, large flocks made up of many different sparrow species move across the landscape.

Art Piece

Sparrows in a Private Hedge
Robert Morrow

Toad World

Look at the artwork and answer the following questions:

How many toads do you see?
What do you think this toad is doing?
What other animals might be hiding in the picture?
  • Toads do not cause warts in humans. They do have a toxin in the large warts on their head that create a foul tasting liquid. This is a great deterrent to predators.
  • Only male toads vocalize.
  • A group of toads is called a knot.
  • Toads will often puff up to make themselves look bigger to a predator.
  • Toads are frogs. The word “toad” usually refers to those that have dryer warty skin and short back legs.
  • Frogs have been around for at least 200 million years (at least as long as the dinosaurs).
  • Toads can live over 20 years in captivity.
  • When a toad swallows food, it can pull its eyes down into the roof of the mouth to help push food down its throat.
  • American Toads can be brown, reddish, or even nearly black.
  • Toads shed their skin several times a year. As it sheds in one pieces, the toad eats the remains.

Art Piece

Toad World
Susan C. Ross

2331 17th St. NW
Canton, Ohio  44708

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