Gila Monsters

A lesson and worksheet on Gila monsters.



• Students will be able to describe the physical characteristics of Gila monsters.

• Students will be able to identify the behavioral characteristics of Gila monsters.

• Students will be able to state how Gila monsters are distinct from other lizards.


Suggested Grades:

3rd Grade - 4th Grade - 5th Grade

Lesson Procedure:

Print the reading comprehension worksheet passage and questions (see below).

Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.


Lesson Excerpt:

Gila monsters are lizards that are found in the desert areas of the American southwest and Mexico. They are the largest lizards in the United States and will reach lengths of up to two feet. They are also the only poisonous lizards. They release venom (poison) from their lower jaws when they bite their prey. In order to get this poison into their victims, they must chew the animal with their grooved teeth. The venom will completely overpower the Gila monster's prey, but it is usually not fatal to humans. In fact, Gila monsters do not bite people at all unless they are disturbed. Before they do that, they open their mouths wide and hiss to warn predators and attackers to stay away. Still, people fear Gila monsters and because of this, there are many myths about them.



Lesson Printables:

Print this printable worksheet for this lesson:

Gila Monsters







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