Cobras is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson that allows students to practice grade-appropriate reading comprehension, foundational reading, and reading fluency skills. These reading comprehension lessons are designed to be completed in one or two class settings.

Each lesson discusses a subject that students want to read about and that teachers will want to incorporate into their reading instruction. The lesson is appropriate as a whole-class, stand-alone lesson or as an independent small-group activity. Be sure to check if there is a Learn Bright video that goes with this lesson!

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What our Cobras lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Cobras is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson plan. As such, students will practice various close reading and comprehension skills. In addition, they will learn about the cobras’ habitat, diet, and behaviors. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page provides an extra paragraph of information to help guide the lesson. It explains that you can teach this lesson in a whole-class setting or as an independent, small-group activity. You can use the blank lines to write down any other ideas or thoughts you have about the topic as you prepare.


What Is a Cobra?

The Cobras lesson plan contains three content pages. To start off, it provides a small box with basic background information about cobras. This reptile lives in India, Africa, Asia, and the islands of Southeast Asia. Cobras are carnivores and only eat meat, and they live for about 20 years.

Cobras are truly remarkable snakes with distinct physical features. They have long, slender bodies covered in smooth scales in various colors, including green, brown, and black. Their hoods, which they can puff up to appear larger and scarier when they feel threatened, set them apart from other snakes. These hoods are like their own special shields, and they use them to warn potential predators to stay away.

Cobras usually live in groups known as colonies or beds, which can include several snakes. However, despite living in these groups, cobras often prefer to be solitary and spend their days hiding in cool, dark places. They might rest in holes in the ground, in dense vegetation, or even in the abandoned burrows of other animals. This helps them stay safe from predators and maintain their body temperature. Cobras can live in various habitats, from forests and grasslands to deserts and wetlands.

When caring for their young, cobras have a unique approach. Mammals like humans or dogs give live births and care for their babies until they are old enough to survive independently. Cobras lay eggs, however, and once the baby cobras hatch, they are considered independent. These young cobras must quickly learn to find their own food and stay safe from potential threats.

What Do They Eat?

Cobras are carnivorous, which means they eat meat. Their favorite snacks include small animals like birds, rodents (such as mice and rats), and even other snakes! Some cobras, including the king cobra, like to eat frogs and lizards.

Cobras have long, sharp teeth called fangs that are hollow like tiny straws. These fangs are connected to glands that produce a special liquid called venom. Thanks to their specialized fangs and venom, cobras are incredible hunters. When a cobra bites its prey, the venom flows from the fangs into the prey’s body. This venom contains proteins and chemicals that can quickly paralyze or even kill the prey, making it easier for the cobra to have its meal.

Unlike animals with grinding teeth like humans and some other predators, cobras have a different strategy for consuming their meals called ingestion. After paralyzing its prey, a cobra utilizes a remarkable anatomical or bodily feature called gaping. This involves opening its jaws incredibly wide, which is possible due to the unique flexibility of its skull. Cobras have extra joints in their skulls that allow them to stretch their mouths wide open. They use this ability to swallow their prey whole.

The next step is peristalsis, a muscular action that propels the prey through the cobra’s digestive tract. The cobra’s digestive system is specially adapted to break down and extract nutrients from its meal despite the fact that cobras have no teeth for chewing.

Other Interesting Facts

Cobras have a fascinating ability to create unique “music” with their hoods, which is a form of communication. Their hoods are like musical instruments, and cobras can make rhythmic movements with them to send signals. When a cobra feels threatened or wants to warn other animals to stay away, it can open its hood. The display shows off the cobra’s size and can make it look more intimidating. This unique “hood music” helps cobras communicate with other animals and is a vital part of their survival toolkit in the animal kingdom.

One really cool trick that cobras do is spit venom like a water gun! When they feel threatened, they can accurately shoot tiny drops of poison at a target as far as six feet away. This behavior helps the cobra avoid physical confrontation and escape from danger. Essentially, they say, “Stay away, or you’ll regret it!”

Why Cobras Are Important to the Environment

Cobras play a vital role in the environment because they help control the populations of other animals. They are excellent hunters and eat small mammals like rats and mice, which can sometimes become abundant and harm crops or spread diseases. Cobras help maintain a healthy natural balance by keeping these animal populations in check. Additionally, they are not at the top of the food chain, which means they are food for some larger animals like eagles and mongooses. They contribute to the diets of other creatures in the ecosystem.

Cobras are not generally considered endangered as a group, but some specific types of cobras are in trouble. The Indian cobra, for example, is facing challenges because of habitat loss due to human activities like cutting down forests and building cities. Additionally, people who fear them can sometimes harm or kill them. While cobras aren’t endangered worldwide, it’s essential to protect their habitats and be careful not to hurt them because they play a crucial role in the environment. Conservation efforts are in place to help ensure that cobras and other animals can thrive in the wild for future generations to enjoy and learn about.


The Cobras lesson plan includes two worksheets: an activity worksheet and a practice worksheet. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.


There are two parts for the activity. First, students will divide into groups and create a dance to communicate a particular message. The worksheet provides a list of messages for students to choose from. After they complete their dances, students will make a hat with their favorite cobra on it. Using the template on the worksheet and some string or elastic, they will fashion a headband with the cobra on the front. Then all the students will perform their dances.


The practice worksheet requires students to answer a series of 11 questions. These questions all relate to the content pages, so students will need to refer to them often for the answers. In addition, each question provides which reading tool the question corresponds to, such as text feature, vocabulary, or comprehension.

Worksheet Answer Keys

At the end of the lesson plan document is an answer key for the practice worksheet. The correct answers are all in red to make it easier for you to compare them with students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Science, High-Interest Reading

State Educational Standards


Approximate Lexile Reading Comprehension Level: 810L to 1000L

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.