Mixed-Up Chameleon


Submitted by: Jackie Schwan

Introduce the lesson by reading The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle. Point out the way that the chameleon changes and the colors that he turns.


  • The students will gain knowledge about various colors, shapes and their environment
  • This project can be altered to adapt to a variety of developmental ranges
  • They will create their own challenging questions and colors/shapes to find
  • Encourage students to explore their feelings into a color or shape just like the chameleon in the story

Before You Start:
Create clear chameleons by placing two sheets of contact paper together. Tape a popsicle stick to the bottom of the clear chameleon for a handle. Also create a variety of colors and shapes for the students to find using large sheets of construction paper. Having multiple sheets of one color or shape will be beneficial.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
After making the clear chameleons, and the places for them to find, spread the sheets of construction paper around the room and ask the children questions, such as, “Can you make your chameleon purple?”

Step 2.
The students will proceed to find sheets of paper that are purple. You can also have the students make their chameleon into shapes or into patterns (striped or polka-dotted).

Step 3.
Once they have heard your questions, let them create their own questions to make the chameleon into different colors, shapes or patterns.

Step 4.
Let the students explore; they can also be encouraged to use the room and environment for ideas.

In The Mixed-Up Chameleon, the chameleon changes color when its feelings change. As the students make their chameleon different colors, shapes, or patterns, ask them how their chameleon is feeling when it is that color, shape or pattern. This lesson can be extended as far as your students’ imaginations will go. It can be adapted to a wide range of abilities by simply asking easier or more advanced questions.

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