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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.
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.
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