Underwater Hide and Seek

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In this activity, learners experience firsthand how marine animals' adaptive coloration camouflages them from prey. Learners design fish out of red paper and then attempt to locate their fish on the wall in a darkened room, while looking through blue cellophane. In doing so, learners will explore concepts related to fish anatomy, adaptive and disruptive coloration, ecological principles, and the physics of light (as it passes through water). This activity is successful because these concepts can be more clearly understood if the learner has been exposed firsthand to some of the dilemmas facing these organisms in their natural environment.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • pencils
  • pieces of red construction paper (8 X 11")
  • scissors
  • pieces of blue cellophane (from art supply store) double thickness 4 x 11"
  • tape


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
    • Evolution
      • Mechanisms of Evolution
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
    • Light and Optics
      • Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Berg, Betsy