Students will learn differences between predator and prey tracks, and unravel track mysteries to tell a story.
Grade Levels: 2 - 3
Time required: about 1/2 hour
Subject Areas: visual arts, life science
- Overhead of "Track Mysteries"
- Photocopies of animal tracks, pages 1-2 (2 - 3 per student)
- Paper and pencils
- Good resource: Animal Tracks of Glacier National Park by David Shea
It will be helpful to the students to make this activity as simple as possible by using only the animal tracks in the reproducible handout (attached). This activity can be expanded to include other track stories you may wish to draw on an overhead or the board, but will work fine with just one example. Who is a predator, and who is a prey, should be familiar from Activity 5.
- Review with students the tracks on the reproducible page - who are they, which direction are they traveling, who is a predator and who is a prey animal?
- Ask students if the presence of paws or claws always means that an animal is a predator. Can an animal ever be both? Are any animals with hooves predators?
- Show the overhead track mystery. Ask students to tell you what happened here. If you feel another example is necessary, draw one for them and have them interpret.
- When you feel they have the idea, ask them to cut out the tracks in their handouts and construct their own story of a predator and prey encounter.
Variations and Extensions:
Have the class make a predator-prey story as a group on the classroom floor using cutouts, or on the sidewalk / ball courts using chalk(also would work as an oversized poster).
Self-contained in activity.