Teacher Resource

Life as a Lizard Game Prop and Set-up List

Making Props and Preparing the Physical Space

The game requires the creation of props, some special (though easily created) spaces in the classroom or outdoors, and the printing of cast and action cards. The class can help make the props for the activity, move furniture around and decide where things should go, and decorate their cast cards. This gives the students more of an investment in the outcome of the activity.

Making Props

Tails: Making tails is important to the game. Each lizard species gets a flag or “pass” that is meant to represent a tail. This could be attached to species card, Velcro-ed to the student, or on a necklace. The shape it takes is up to you. More ideas for tails: pipe cleaners, cards with pictures on them (they can attach it to a necklace or hold it in a pocket), scarves. Students should make the tails and the class can decide as a whole what to use for tails.
The tail is the student’s get out of jail free card. See the game rules for additional explanation.

Camouflage: Obtain pennies to use for camouflage and explain what they will be used for. Some of the lizard species use camouflage to hide from predators. The species cards indicate which lizards use this method of escape. In nature, camouflage does not always work. To demonstrate this, each student playing a lizard species that uses camouflage is given a coin. If a predator species tags a lizard species with a coin, the lizard species gets to call heads or tails and then flips the coin. If the coin lands on the side they called, then it is assumed that the camouflage tactic was successful and the lizard can remain on the scene. If the coin lands on the side not called, then it is assumed that the camouflage did not work and the predator can leave the scene with their meal.

Ask students to determine who uses camouflage and mark this on their lizard lists. Lizards that use camouflage

Make or obtain additional props. Students should make or bring in the following props. If you are going to play outside you may not need to make some of these props.

Setting up the Physical Space

This activity can be done in a classroom or outside. In either case, the play area is divided into habitats and microhabitats, including two large rocks, two small rocks, a rock crevice, two trees, and burrows. Here is an example of how a set-up for a classroom might look:

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Learning Information

About This Page
Collection: Arizona Partners in Reptile and Amphibian Conservation, AZ PARC http://www.reptilesofaz.com/ Primary Author: Craig Ivanyi, Herpetology Curator of the Sonoran Desert Museum and AZ PARC Education Working Group Coordinator. Additional Authors and AZ PARC Education Working Group Members: Cori Dolan, Lisa Schwartz, Kat Wilson, Cristina Jones, Dave Prival, Dennis Caldwell and Taylor Edwards. Special thanks to the teachers who piloted the lessons and gave invaluable feedback: Kristen Trejos, Angela Bonine and Karen Bradley.

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Lisa Schwartz at

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