Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-12, students explore BrainPOP resources to learn about reptiles generally and the four categories they fall into — lizards, snakes, turtles/tortoises, and crocodilians.  Using what they learn, students create play a Guess the Reptile game with a partner. Depending on students’ levels, they can play with just information from the movie and guess the category (lizard, snake, turtles/tortoises, crocodilians) or they can conduct further research and guess the species (e.g., copperhead snake, leatherback turtle, etc).   

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Complete a KWL chart about reptiles.
  2. Use a structure concept map to identify characteristics of each reptile category.
  3. Conduct research about a reptile species (optional).
  4. Play a Guess the Reptile game with a partner.



Preview the movie Reptiles to plan for any adaptations. If students will be working offline, make copies of the Guessing Game Graphic Organizer.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Display the KWL chart on the whiteboard. Ask students what they know about reptiles. If they need prompting, ask questions such as, What are some examples? What do reptiles eat? Where do they live? Write their responses in the K column.
  2. Tell students that today they will learn all about reptiles, including their adaptations, what they eat, what eats them, where they live, and more. Ask what they hope to learn about reptiles. Write their responses in the W column.
  3. Show the movie Reptiles on an interactive whiteboard or other large display for the whole class once through without pausing.
  4. Now have students open the Make-a-Map feature within the movie and chose the Structure Map template. Alternatively, you can distribute the Web Graphic Organizer.  As they watch the movie independently, have them identify the four categories of reptiles and characteristics of each. Remind them that they can include images and clips from the movie to their maps.
  5. After completing their maps, tell the class they will play a Guess the Reptile game using what they’ve learned. First, ask students to choose a reptile category: lizards, snakes, turtles/tortoises, and crocodilians but don’t share their choice with anyone. Alternatively, for a more challenging game, have students select a specific reptile species (e.g., leatherback turtle, rattlesnake, iguana, etc.) to research.
  6. Have students open the Reptiles Guessing Game graphic organizer. Or, distribute printouts if students are playing offline. Instruct them to fill in the information about the reptile they chose using information from their structure maps (or web organizers). If you are having students are playing the game with specific species, allow time for further research.
  7. To play the game, pair up students. Have partners swap their completed Guessing Game graphic organizers and challenge each other to guess the reptile based on the clues. When they have guessed correctly, and if time allows, have students swap with other partners.
  8. If you have an Individual Account, enhance this game by having your students use Make-a-Movie to create a movie about their reptile (remember, don’t reveal the reptile!). Have pairs swap movies and make their guesses.
  9. After everyone has played the game, bring the class together again. Draw their attention to the KWL chart and invite them to share what they learned about reptiles.

Extension Activities:

Have students describe reptile adaptations by completing the Identify and Describe Worksheet. Divide the class into groups of five. Assign each person in the group one of the Reptile Related Readings to read. Then have them share what they learned with the rest of the group