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Tricky Tracks

Elementary

Description

This innovative outdoor activity combines science and art as students explore visual clues left behind by animals. Critical thinking skills are used to identify wildlife tracks, hypothesize what the animals may have been doing and make predictions about what the animal could have done next. Students also learn how to make plaster casts of the prints to describe their experience. By engaging young people in the ancient art of “tracking” this resource increases their awareness and understanding of wildlife and strengthens personal connections to the natural world.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This lesson supports learning outcomes related to habitats, animal adaptations and scientific inquiry. The cast making teaches students how to use plaster to create a visual record of their experience. The activity could also incorporate math learning by having the class take measurements of the length and width of the tracks and identifying patterns in movement.

An interesting learning extension could include a local First Nations elder in the experience to teach silent walking skills, using senses to support wildlife observation and indigenous values and connections related to living on the land.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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        • Science: Plants and animals have observable features
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Local Communities: Healthy communities recognize and respect the diversity of individuals and care for the local environmen
        • Local Communities:: We shape the local environment, and the local environment shapes who we are and how we live.
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Biodiversity