Teacher Resource

Life as a Lizard Unit and Role Playing Game: Part 2

Lessons 2.1 and lessons 2.2 and/or 2.3 are highly recommended as preparation for the Life as a Lizard Game. Learning Materials are available from links in the Support Materials section at the bottom of this page.

*Lesson 2.1 Assign and Review Lizard, Predator and Prey Roles
(Give Out Cast Cards)

Learning Resource Information

To prepare:


If you have a class of 30, in each round of the game 22 students will pair up to play 11 lizard species, 3 will be predator species, and 2 will be prey species. Each student will get a chance to play a lizard as long as you play the game twice. So that every student can play a lizard, on the second round of the game, the 5 students who played predator and prey species will be paired with one of the students who played a lizard, and the other half of the lizard pair will take the role of predator or prey.

Lesson Steps:

  1. Students pull a role out of a hat to play during the game (either lizard, predator or prey). You may also assign the roles yourself.
  2. Optional: Students can create mini-booklets to paste their cast cards in while the roles are being picked.
    • If you have a class of 30:
    • 22 students will be paired up to play 11 lizard species
    • 3 students will play 2 types of predator species,
    • 2 students will play ants and crickets (the prey species).
    • Students that pulled prey and predator roles will also need to have lizard roles also. You can decide how to assign them, but make sure that each student has a lizard role. Choose some of the students that pulled lizard names and have them also play predator and prey roles. Each student will get a chance to play a lizard as long as you play the game twice.
    • Tell the students that they will all need to learn about the roles of the predator and prey species, and that they might also get the chance to be an understudy for another lizard role (i.e. they may need to learn two roles).
  3. Distribute the Lizard and Predator/Prey cards. Students should either paste these into a notebook or homemade mini-booklet (e.g. paper stapled or tied together).
  4. Ask students to look at the cards and take notes on the types of behaviors they will need to perform. Students should review their cards with their neighbors.
  5. The whole class can meet to review lizard behavior and make a class chart of the topics listed on the cast cards (habitat, defense, activity range and characterists and social behavior) and the different types of lizards.

Lesson 2.2 Gathering More Information - Researching Lizard Roles

Learning Resource Information

Lesson Steps:

  1. Remind students that they need to research their roles. Take students to the computer lab to look at images of "their lizard" and the predator and prey species and answer questions as the view "An introduction to lizards." If you can't get to the computer lab you can project the "Introduction to Lizards" from one computer or print out the materials.
  2. Students should be taking notes in their science notebooks and/or working on their cast card booklets or cards.
  3. Optional: Have students go through an "Introduction to Lizards" (either online or by printing out) using the Introduction to Lizards Question Sheet (not yet available). Some of this information may be confusing to younger students.
  4. Let students look at pictures of their lizard and possibly print one out to put with their cast card booklet. Students can also draw lizards from the online images.

Lesson 2.3 Student Role Playing Preparation Activities

Learning Resource Information

Lesson Steps:

  1. Give students time to work on their cast card notes or booklets,
  2. Have students "interview" other species, create a class chart of the information on the cast cards and compare and contrast species. Create Venn Diagrams with similarities and differences.
  3. Each student should become an understudy for the role of a predator species and a prey species, students can also become understudies for other types of lizards by pairing off with other students.
  4. Students can get in groups and practice their behaviors.
  5. Revisit the behavior list sheet and the guidelines for what are appropriate behaviors. Practice lizard role playing behaviors as a class.

Support Materials

Return to the Life as a Lizard Unit Home Page

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

All Rights Reserved.

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