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Coiled Cobra, Ready to Strike!

Discover more about the life of a king cobra. For what is it really hunting?

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. This is one way to make a realistic scene with a king cobra ready for action. Students research details about these snakes’ diet, habitat, and anatomy. Students create a replica of the animal in its natural surroundings. This is one way to sculpt the science project. To store sections of the project and any remaining compound between sessions, keep them in a resealable plastic storage container.
    2. Cover an empty, dry, plastic water bottle with Crayola Model Magic® compound. A thin cover pressed on with your fingertips will look just like a tree trunk. Press some Model Magic compound on the bottom of the bottle to make a grass base for your tree.
    3. Coil chenille stems into a spiral at one end. Press Model Magic on the spiral to form leaves. Use a craft stick to make veins in the leaves.
    4. Twist several chenille stems together to make an armature for your cobra. Mix different colors of Model Magic compound together to make a realistic cobra color. Cover the armature for the snake’s body. Form a ball on one end for the snake’s head.
    5. Complete the cobra with realistic details. Add eyes. Shape white fangs at the top of the mouth. Pinch Model Magic compound around the head to create the cobra’s neck ribs that form a hood when it’s ready to attack. Add snakeskin texture with small Model Magic pieces. Make a separate section for the bottom of the snake’s mouth. Add a red tongue and more fangs. Press into place.
    6. To assemble the science display, wrap the snake around tree trunk and press them together. Place the chenille stem leaves into the open top of the bottle. Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.
    7. The cobra is ready to hunt for its prey—or display as part of a science exhibit.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

  • Adaptations

    The research on the cobra snake should include a hand-drawn world map of where the cobra is found. Students organize their research into an electronic presentation. This is uploaded to a class computer for future viewing.

    Students expand their research to snakes other than cobras. Identify where these snakes are found on their world map. Organize research for presentation to the class. Sculpt these snakes in their natural habitats.

    Some snakes are venomous and some are not. Students investigate venomous and non-venomous snakes, creating a chart of each. The chart could be organized by placing the smallest snakes at the top and the largest at the bottom on the list.

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