Lead a brief discussion asking students to recall the variety of tracks they learned about during their trip to Craters of the Moon. The list should include: fox, coyote, squirrel, chipmunk, rabbit, mouse, as well as others.
Ask students to describe some of the track patterns they saw in the snow. (Refer to the Answer Key
for some examples.) Alternatively, draw two or three sets of tracks on a whiteboard or overhead projector and ask students to guess what animal made them. Ask students to think about how some animals move. Those that bound or hop (including squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks) leave tracks in sets of four that repeat. Animals that walk (including foxes, coyotes, and humans) tend to leave a single track that repeats.
Also review with students the three methods animals have to deal with winter:
- Also known as migration, this method is common among birds including mountain bluebirds and swallows. Large mammals like mule deer and pronghorn migrate over shorter distances.
- Many avoiders hibernate. Bears, marmots, ground squirrels, reptiles, and insects all hibernate to avoid winter hazards. Mammals that hibernate often eat lots of food to add fat layers before winter, then burn them off slowly in lieu of eating. Others, such as pika, do not hibernate. Instead, pika sleep more and spend more time underground in their dens to avoid winter's worst aspects.
- Adapters include foxes, coyotes, bobcats, red squirrels, rabbits and hares, ravens, golden eagles, and humans. They adapt by adding extra layers of fur (extra clothes in the case of humans) or fluffing out feathers.
Have students complete Worksheet
. Students can work individually or in small groups to complete this activity. Small groups may be preferable for younger grades.