K-3, Unit Two, Activity 1: "Who's Wild?"

(adapted from "What's Wild," Project WILD)
Students learn the differences between wildlife and domesticated animals.

Grades: K - 1
Time: about 1/2 hour
Subjects: Life science, visual arts


  • Pictures of animals (from magazines, newspapers, photos, photocopies -- check school and public libraries for free magazines)
  • Large construction paper for each student
  • Large chart paper for each class

Teacher Background:
Wildlife are animals that live in a basically free condition, providing for their own food, shelter and other needs in environments that serve as suitable habitat. “Wildlife” refers to animals that are not tamed or domesticated. Domesticated animals are those which humans have tamed, kept in captivity and bred for special purposes. The process of domestication takes place over a long period of time through many generations. All domesticated animals have their ancestry in wild animals. When students have difficulty distinguishing between wild and domesticated animals, encourage them to think about what is usually the case. Remember that wild animals basically take care of themselves, and domesticated animals usually depend on people to take care of them in some way.


  1. Before the lesson ask students to bring pictures of animals -- any kind.
  2. What makes an animal a wild animal? Eventually students will come to the conclusion that tame animals need humans in some way and wild animals get along fine without people.
  3. Students work alone or in pairs to put the pictures into the categories "domestic" and "wild", to make 2 collages. Are there any animals you can think of which can be either domestic or wild?

Students draw a picture of a wild animal and a domesticated animal.

Last updated: November 3, 2017

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