In this activity, students will watch a video about the unique features and habits of chuckwallas and answer questions.
By completing this activity, your students will be able to:
- Identify key adaptations that help a chuckwalla survive the harsh desert environment.
- Explain how chuckwallas located in South Mountain are different from those found elsewhere.
AND ANSWER THESE CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS:
- How does the chuckwalla use its body to help it survive? Why does it do this?
- How do you think the South Mountain chuckwallas developed such a unique physical appearance? What might be the purpose?
More About this Lesson Plan
The Arizona Game and Fish Department produces an Emmy-winning television show called Arizona Wildlife Views. Individual segments from this show are made available to stream for free on YouTube. In an attempt to make these videos more classroom-friendly, we have reviewed a number of these video clips to provide useful information and strategies for bringing them into the classroom. This includes questions that can be discussed during and after the video has been watched as a class.
This specific video introduces students to an iconic Arizona lizard, the chuckwalla. Students will learn about some of the unique adaptations that help this reptile live in desert environments as well as what specific feature makes the chuckwallas found on South Mountain different than all the other chuckwallas.
POTENTIAL DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- Who or what is it that the male chuckwalla will defend? What can you use to make spotting chuckwallas easier? What do chuckwallas like to sit on? (Pause at 0:35 to discuss)
- What is a crevice? Why do you think chuckwallas like crevices? (Pause a 0:48 to discuss)
- What is a defense mechanism? What is one of the chuckwalla’s defense mechanisms? (Pause at 1:04 to discuss)
- What is unique about the chuckwallas on South Mountain? (Pause at end to discuss)
This lesson has been correlated to the following Arizona Department of Education academic standards:
Education through AZGFD
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The goal of the AZGFD education program is to promote awareness, appreciation and stewardship of the state’s wildlife resources by using wildlife as a context for learning.
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