Snakes Lapbook

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Page 1: Snakes Lapbook Preview

Snakes Lapbook

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Vocabulary Words and Definitions

Lapbook Component- Vocabulary Fan

Prey- an animal that is food for another animal.

Python- a very big snake that squeezes it’s prey.

Venom- a liquid from an animal that causes sickness or death.

Basking- when a snake lies in the sun to warm up its cold blood so it can move around quickly.

Constriction- when a snake coils its body around an animal and squeezes it to stop it’s breathing.

Molt- when a snake shed’s its skin.

Scales- small, hard plates that cover a snake’s whole body.

Reptiles- the group of scaly, cold blooded animals that includes snakes, crocodiles and tortoises.

Fangs- a pair of sharp teeth used to inject venom.

Egg Tooth- small tooth used by baby snakes to break through the shell of its egg. It disappears shortly after birth.

Jacobson’s Organ- an organ found on the roof of the snake’s mouth that helps it sense smells.

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Cut shapes apart. Write one vocabulary word and definition on each shape. Stack together with cover on top and secure with a brad.

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What Is A Snake?

Lapbook Component- What is a Snake?

Snakes are cold blooded. This means their body temperatures are determined by outside sources, such as the heat of the sun, and is regulated only by basking or seeking shade. Most snakes, ideal temperature is 85 degrees. At low temperatures, snakes are sluggish, and body functions are slow. To digest meals, they need high body temperatures.

Size and Shape All snakes have the same form, long and thin with no limbs. Yet vary from size from different species. The smallest, barely longer than the human finger, to the largest can extend six times the weight of a person.

Snakes can crawl, swim and climb to hunt. They have lots of bones so their bodies bend easily. They have strong muscles to move their bones. This allows snakes to loop side to side or push and pull themselves forward.

Snake Anatomy

Lapbook Component: Scales Flap

Scales Snakes bodies are covered with scales. They are thick fingernail like material on stretchy skin. Scales keep snakes from being hurt as they crawl over sharp rocks, through thorny brush, and up rough tree bark.

Snakes have 4 types of scales on different parts of their body.

Dorsal Scales- Scales on their back are small and overlap like roof shingles. These act like armor to shield the snake. These scales are colored

Ventral Scales- Scales on the belly are big and flat. These act like tire tread to dig in and pull the snake along.

Head Scales- They are large and plate like in many species.

Subcaudal Scales- Found beneath the snake’s tail, similar to ventral scales.

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Snakes have one big, clear scale over each eye. They cover the eye like goggles.

Scales help protect snakes against biting insects, small predator’s, parasites, and snakes own prey.

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Fold in half on solid line. Cur on the dotted line. Inside the book, write snake characteristics.

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Skull Unlike most carnivores, which can chew their prey, tear it apart, or hold it while they feed, snakes have no limbs and so have to swallow their food whole. The skulls are constructed so that the upper and lower jawbones can move backward, forward, and outward independently of each other or the rest of the skull. This flexibility provided by the lower jawbones, which are not joined at the chin, but can stretch apart or be thrust forward one side at a time. This enables the snake to hook its teeth into the prey and drag it into its mouth.

TeethTeeth are arranged along the lower jaws, the outer set of upper jaws and an inner set of upper jawbones. The teeth are not rooted in a socket but are loosely attached to the surface of the jawbone on its inner edge. They easily get dislodged but are being replaced by new ones.

Lapbook Components: Skull & Teeth Matchbooks

FangsSome snakes have enlarged fangs for injecting venom. These snakes are divided into two groups.

Rear Fanged Snakes- They have a single pair of fangs toward the backs of their mouths. Very few of these are harmful to humans.

Front Fanged Snakes- Snakes with front fangs belong to the cobra, and viper families. They have the ability to fold their fangs against the roof of the mouth when not in use. They are hollow so that the venom can flow easily and penetrate deep into the prey.

Lapbook Component- Fangs Triangle

SensesSnakes do not have keen eyesight. A snake uses its tongue to help find prey. Flicking out its tongue, it picks up tiny bits of scent matter in the air. When it pulls its tongue back into its mouth, the snake smells if prey is nearby. The forked shape lets the snake judge whether the scent is stronger on the right or left. This helps the snake find his prey day or night.

Snakes have no external ears. They have a system of small bones in the skull that allows the snake to hear vibrations that are picked up by the lower jawbone. To detect this, the lower jaw must be in contact with the ground.

Certain snakes have unique sense organs called heat pits. Pythons, boas and pit vipers are some that have these organs.

Lapbook Component: Senses Layer

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The eyes of snakes have one of three pupil shapes: round, vertical, or horizontal.

Round pupils- Most species have round pupils. They tend to be secretive and are nocturnal hunters.

Vertical pupils- typically nocturnal species, such as vipers. They’ve adapted to poor light conditions. In bright light, their pupils contract to slits to protect their retinas.

Horizontal pupils- this occurs in very few species of snakes. These snakes have good binocular vision. This allows them to judge distances very accurately.

Lapbook Component: Eyes Tab

Losing Their Skin Snakes grow new skin when their old skin gets too small. The snake rubs on a rock to make a tiny crack in its skin. The crack gets bigger and bigger. As the snake crawls, the old skin comes off in one piece.

Lapbook Component- Shedding Skin Wheel

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Cut each book out as one piece. Fold matchbook style.

teethteethteethteeth skull

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paste back to lapbook

Cut out as one piece. Fold flap 1 in. Fold

cover piece “Fangs” down.

Open cover. Write about fangs on the first

page. Open to reveal two more spaces.

Write about rear fanged snakes on one

piece and front fanged snakes on the other.

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How do snakes find prey? How do snakes hear?

What are heat pits?







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Snake Senses

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Snake Eyes

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remove this area

Print on cardstock. Cut out circles. Attach two circles together with a brad. Let your student write the

three steps of snake shedding on the wheel (one per section then turn)

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Where Do Snakes Live? Snakes like to hide. Some crawl into deep holes or climb trees. Others live in oceans or lakes. All snakes like warm places best. If a snake gets cold, it cannot move.

Lapbook Component- World Snake Map

Location of Snakes & Adult Sizes

Mexico Cantil ( 3ft)

US Blind Snake (8in) Copperhead (3ft) Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake (22in) Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (8ft) Garter Snake (30in) Timber Rattlesnake (3 ft) Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (7ft)

Brazil Anaconda (18ft)

Namibia Horned Desert Viper (29in)

Tanzania Blanding Tree Snake (7ft) Egg Eating Snake (30in) Gaboon Viper (7ft) Green Bush Viper (24in)

Thailand King Cobra (18ft) Reticulated Python (33ft)

Kenya African Rock Python (20ft)

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United States


Cut out pages. Write names of snakes who live in each place (you may not be able to fit all of them). Add sizes, if de-

sired. Stack together with cover on top and staple as indicated.

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Lapbook Component- Movement Tab

Snakes have 4 types of motion, which vary according to the kind of terrain they live in.

Linear Progression- Waves of muscles contract along the length of its body to move the snake directly forward. The trailing edges of its large ventral scales provide grip.

Lateral Undulation- This is the most common type of motion. The snake moves forward by pushing the sides of its body against rocks or other ground irregularities.

Concertina Movement- In a tight space, snakes proceed by bunching its muscles in turn, first at the rear as it extends its front, then at the front as it draws up the rear.

Sidewinding- On loose sand or smooth surface, the snake lifts loops of its body clear as it moves sideways, creating downward pressure as it lifts to prevent sliding.

What’s For Dinner- Hunting & Feeding

Research different kinds of snakes and learn about what different species eat. Record your findings in this book: Who Eats What? Fan

All snakes are carnivores, but different species eat a huge variety of prey from ants to antelopes. Even without limbs, snakes are impressive hunters. All must swallow their food whole, eating small or helpless creatures alive, and killing larger prey by restricting them or with venom.

Types of Prey Some snakes are specialists, feeding only on one group of animals, such as slugs or snails or a certain species. Others are generalists and eat more or less anything they can swallow.

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Lapbook Component: Hunters T-book

There are mainly four types of hunters.

Passive Hunters- They do not actively look for food. They wait for it to come to them.

Active Hunters- They go and look for food.

Constrictors- Large prey that put up a struggle or fight must be killed before eaten. A constrictor would cut off the air from the prey by squeezing it. Looping its body around the victim until it stops breathing.

Venom- Some snakes use venom to kill their prey before eating it.

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Cut out each piece. Stack together (you will have two tabs at the top and two at the bottom) with cover on top and staple on the left side. Write verses on each page that pertain to the topic.

Slide and


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Concertina Movement

Linear Progression

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Lateral Undulation


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Cut pieces out. Complete


Stack together with cover on

top and secure with brad.

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You are looking at the inside of the book. Cut out as one piece. Fold left side in. Fold right side in. Fold top dow

n. Paste cover piece on top.




















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Venomous Snakes

Lapbook Component- Venomous Snakes

Venomous snakes make up only a small minority of all snakes. About 250 species are regarded as dangerous to humans which is less than 1/10 of all species.

The world’s largest venomous snake is the King Cobra. It produces a potent venom and feeds totally on other snakes. They produce fast acting venom. By the time its meal reaches its stomach, the venom has already started the digestive process. The venom acts on the nervous system.

Venomous snakes are classified into four families the Elapids, Viperids, Colubrids and Hydrophiidae.

The Elapids- tend to be slender and agile. Most are small and inoffensive to humans, but the family also contains some of the largest and most lethal of snakes. An elapid strikes with a downward stab, followed by chewing. The venom is primarily neurotoxic but often contains substances that damage the body tissues or blood cells. Some Elapids are kraits, king cobras, cobras, mambas, Australian copperheads and coral snakes.

Colubrids- 1/3 of these snakes have modified salivary glands that produce a type of venom. For most of the venomous colubrid species, a bite unaccompanied by chewing is rarely harmful to humans. In a few species with fangs, a single bite can be dangerous and possibly fatal. Some of the snakes found in this family are the Queen snake, the Common Keelback, King Snake, Corn Snake, Bull Snake, Rat Snake, Garter SNake, Smooth Snake, Water Snake Mussurana and Milk Snake. Other snakes are the boomslangs, mangrove snakes, vine snakes and tree snakes.

Viperids- commonly called vipers, are found all over the world except Madagascar and Australia. They have relatively long and hinged fangs. These fangs allow the vipers to penetrate deeper into the flesh. Common viperidae are vipers, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, bushmasters, adders and copperheads.

Hydrophidae- or sea snakes are of several different species. They are aquatic. The group of sea snakes are related to the cobra. There are about fifty species of these snakes and almost all of them are venomous. They have short and hollow fangs located near the front of the upper jaw. Their venom is made up of neurotoxins and mytotoxins. Sea snakes however do not bite humans and are harmless unless provoked. Their poison is generally more toxic as compared to venom from land snakes.

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Lapbook Component- Toxicity Tri-fold

Not all venom has the same effect. A single species may have more than one type of venom.

Neurotoxic: acts fastest, paralyzing the victim.

Hemotoxic: acts more slowly, causing death by blood clotting or hemorrhaging.

Myotoxic: affects the muscle.

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Cut out shapes. Use as many as desired/needed. Stack together with cover on top and staple.

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Cut out the rectangle as one piece.

Fold paper in thirds (like a letter). Cur on dotted lines around bottle shape. On the inside of the book, you will have three sections. Write about the different types of venom� one on each section.

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Snake Predators Lapbook Component- Predators Accordian

Snakes, especially small ones, have many enemies. Hawks, Eagles, Hornbills, Storks, Roadrunners and Secretary birds feed on them extensively. Smaller birds such as Crow will prey on snakes if given the chance. Other predators include: Mongoose, Raccoons, Skunks, Foxes, Large Lizards, Frogs, Toads, Insects, and Spiders. Other Snakes also feast on other snakes.

Defenses Lapbook Component- Defenses Shield Shape

Camouflage: most snakes are colored to match the rock, vegetation of where they live.

Concealment: Snakes are experts at squeezing into tight spaces, such as under rocks and logs, burrows made by themselves or other animals.

Warning Colors: Some species use bright colors to warn predators that they are venomous. The most common color scheme is red, black, and white or yellow, usually in rings.

Balling: a number of snakes react to danger by balling or hiding their heads in their coils. Some conceal the head but raise the tail above their coils, diverting the predator’s attention and reducing the risk of damage to the head.

Playing Dead: A few species feign death. The snake flips over onto its back with its mouth gaping open and its tongue hanging out. A foul smelling secretion is often produced at the same time, which would help them give the effect of decomposition.

Intimidation: Some snakes try to intimidate attackers. Some inflate the body to make themselves look less like easy prey. This is often accompanied by hissing as the snake expels air through the windpipe.

Spitting: Spitting cobras defend themselves by spraying venom. The venom of a spitting cobra is aimed at the eyes and other mucous membranes of any creature regarded as potential threat.

Posture: On a number of snakes they enlarge their bodies to deter attackers.

Warning Signals: Many snakes hiss when disturbed, but some make more unusual warning sounds, such as rattling or buzzing produced by rattlesnakes. Vipers rub there scales together which sounds like sandpaper to make a warning rasp.

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Cut out book as one piece. Fold like an accordion.

Paste back of last piece to your lapbook. Write names

on predators on the pieces of the accordion.

This book has been included as an extra. Cut out as

one piece and fold in half. Use as desired.

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Cut out shapes. Write about one defense on each

shape. Stack together with cover on top and staple.

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Lapbook Component- Baby Snakes Folded Flap

Most snakes lead a solitary lifestyle and may not come in contact with a suitable mate very often. They are capable of delaying fertilization after mating. Females can store sperm until conditions are favorable for the young to develop, giving the offspring a good chance of survival.

Egg Laying Snakes- Most species lay eggs. The eggs are left after she lays them. Snakes lay their eggs in sites that are likely to provide stable conditions for their development, which can take up to three months. Some burrow in sand, make an egg chamber beneath a rock, under dead vegetation or rotting wood make great places for eggs. The eggs need a moist place because the shells are soft and can absorb water and oxygen as the embryo grows. Some snakes can lay up to 100 eggs at one time.

Live Bearing Snakes-They carry their developing young inside them. They do not nourish them via a placenta as mammals do, but retain the eggs in their oviducts rather than laying them. They develop inside a thin membrane, instead of a shell, from which they break out around the time of birth.

Lifecycle of a Snake Lapbook Component- Lifecycle Accordian

1. 10 weeks after the eggs are laid, the baby snake hatches. 2. The baby snake can swim and climb. It must look after itself 3. Two weeks after hatching, the snake sheds it’s skin for the first time. 4. The snake’s skin color changes as it gets older. It’s color helps it to hide5. After five months, the snake has doubled in size. It moves quickly using its belly scales. 6. The snake kills its prey by constriction and then swallows it whole. 7. When winter approaches, the snake hibernates. 8. In early spring, after mating, an adult female snakes lays her own eggs.

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Egg laying snakes

Live Bearing snakes

Cut book out as one piece. Cut on dotted lines. Fold vertically. Fold horizontally so that �baby snakes� is on the cover. You should have two flaps to write under when you open the book.

Paste this side to your lapbook.

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Cut out shapes on solid black lines. Glue as indicated. Fold on dotted lines like an accordion (back and forth, back and forth).





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Glue this piece to the back of the first strip.

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