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Activities and Lesson Plans

S-s-s-snakes Alive!

Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, August 2009


If you don't have a copy of the TPW magazine, you may print a copy
of S-s-s-snakes Alive.

You may print Ssssnakes Alive children's pages from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. We hope you'll consider a subscription to our magazine. Be sure to check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine special offer for teachers. And please let us know your suggestions for future issues at:

Suggested Topics: adaptations, food webs, predators, prey, first impressions

Related 4th Grade TEKS:

Language Arts:
4.1 A, B, C: Listening, Speaking, Purposes: Listens Actively and Purposefully in a Variety of Settings
4.5 A, B, C, D, F: Listening, Speaking, Audiences: Speaks Clearly and Appropriately to Different Audiences for Different Purposes and Occasions
4.9 E: Reading, Vocabulary Development: Acquires Extensive Vocabulary through Reading and Systematic Word Study
4.13 A, B, C, D, E, G: Reading, Inquiry, Research: Inquires and Conducts Research Using a Variety of Sources
4.15 A, C: Writing, Purposes: Writes for Variety of Audiences and Purposes in Various Forms
4.18 A, B, C, D, E, F, G: Writing, Grammar, Usage: Applies Grammar and Usage to Communicate Clearly and Effectively in Writing
4.21 A, B, C, D: Writing, Inquiry, Research: Uses Writing as a Tool for Learning and Research
Social Studies:
4.23 C, E: Social Studies Skills: Communicates in Written, Oral and Visual Forms
4.24 A: Social Studies Skills: Problem Solving and Decision Making
4.1 A: Scientific Processes: Conducts Field and Laboratory Investigations
4.2 A, B, C, D, E: Scientific Processes: Develops Abilities to do Scientific Inquiry in Field and Laboratory
4.3 A, C, D: Scientific Processes: Uses Critical Thinking and Scientific Problem Solving to Make Informed Decisions
4.5 A, B: Science Concepts: Parts Removed from Complex Systems
4.8 A, B, C: Science Concepts: Adaptations Increase Survival
4.3 A: Number, Operations and Quantitative Reasoning : Addition and Subtraction

Discussion Questions

  • In the magazine, it says that without snakes, "we'd be in big trouble." What does the author mean by that statement? Do you agree? [have students read the text on the bottom of the front page]
  • What is the name of someone who studies reptiles?
  • What's the difference between venomous and poisonous? Name an example of each.
  • What are the threats to snake survival? [loss of habitat; pollution, senseless killing]
  • How does a snake protect itself? How would you manage if you were a snake with no legs or arms to help you obtain food or protect yourself?


  • After studying the vocabulary words and Anatomy of a Snake, draw a picture of a snake and label the parts.
  • Learn about reptiles. Cut our pictures of reptiles that illustrate characteristics of reptiles. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a reptile?
  • Do a web search for other wildlife that have scutes. [hint: See Turtle Hurdles. Also, some fish, other reptiles and armadillos have scutes.]
  • Read Friend or Fiend in the magazine. Choose a snake to investigate and present the following on your snake: color, size, venomous or non-venomous, habitat, prey, predator and behavior.
  • Find another venomous creature feature in this month's magazine. [Green lynx spider, p. 13]
  • Big Bend Roadrunner Relay Race

Project WILD

  • Suggested Activities
  • Project WILD Workshops, TEKS and TAKS correlations

Interesting Links for Further Research


TPWD Reptile fact sheets

Texas Junior Naturals - Snakes!

Texas Venomous Snakes: Safety First

From the TPW Magazine Archives:

  • The Blue Elbow | TPW magazine | September 2003 ... As many as 30 snake species live there. "Most of the snakes are very secretive
    and active only at night," says Wolter...
  • Rat Snake | TPW magazine | February 2008 ... Hefty lengths can intimidate, too. Most rat snakes range in length from 3.5
    to 6 feet; records measure 7-plus feet. While most serpents ...
  • Cold-blooded Killers | TPW Magazine | June 2007... Reptiles play an essential ecological role, but non-native reptiles threaten this balance. From the diseases they bring to the ticks that hitch a ride on them, non-native reptiles and amphibians can wreak havoc on an ecosystem.