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Classroom Activities and Printable Activity Sheets

Winter 2014 - Wildlife is Everywhere

Schoolyard Habitat

As a class, explore your schoolyard or a nearby park or green space for animals or signs of animals. Make a list of animals the class sees and a separate list of animals not seen but for which there is evidence (such as tracks, scat and food scraps). Are there animals the students did not expect to find in their schoolyard but saw or found signs of? Are there animals they expected to find but did not? Ask your students to consider why one kind of animal might be present but not another. What kinds of animals would they like to see in their schoolyard? Does the schoolyard habitat provide for all the needs of these animals? If not, what's missing? How could students improve the schoolyard habitat for wildlife?

Wild Animal Posters

Have your students make posters with the theme "Keep Wild Animals Wild." Use the questions and answers on pages 5 and 6 of this issue of Conservationist for Kids as inspiration, but don't stop there. Have students think of other ways people might play a part in keeping wild animals wild, such as improving habitat, avoiding conflicts, et cetera. Display the posters for National Wildlife Week, the third week of March.

Pet Profile/Wild Cousins

Owning a pet is fun, but it's also a lot of responsibility. Have your students make three- to five-minute oral presentations to the class about their pets and how they care for them. Have them compare their pets to wild animals that are similar. If a student doesn't have a pet, ask him or her to speak about an animal they'd like to have as a pet. Students should be reminded that it is never a good idea to own a wild animal as a pet, and in many instances, it is illegal! Some questions to answer are below.

My Pet

• What kind of animal is your pet? Where did it come from (e.g., pet store, animal shelter)?
• What does your pet eat?
• Does your pet require special habitat (e.g., fish tank, warming rock or lamp)?
• How do you keep your pet safe, healthy and happy?

My Pet's Wild Cousin

• What kind of wild animal is similar to your pet (e.g., dogs are in the same family as foxes, coyotes and wolves; cats are in the same family as lynx and mountain lions)?
• What does this animal require for habitat (food, water, shelter, space)?
• How does this animal stay safe?

This Issue's "Outside Page"

There are plenty of ways to live in harmony with wildlife. A few of them are described on the Outside Page of this issue of Conservationist for Kids. Start by having your students learn about the wildlife around their neighborhoods. It's as simple as going for a walk and keeping a record of what they observe. Then, have them use their observations for citizen science projects, including Project FeederWatch and the Lost Ladybug Project.

Teacher supplement for this issue (pdf 99kb)