Animal tracks.

Todays’s lesson is all about animal tracks.

We know the names of our animals in English (and German!), so it’s a fun lesson. The first part involves some worksheets. The second part is doing stuff.

Here are the worksheets we used:

These are four worksheets that have animal prints and animals. The fun part is that the kids have to look at the animals and figure out which tracks go to which one. We started with the last worksheet (the North American one). Then we went in random order. Each child got to pick one.

When the kids got stuck, I used some simple (very simple) questions to help guide them. Here are the questions:

1. Does the track have claw marks? Can you find animals with claws?

2. Is the track a big foot or a little foot?

3. Are you sure?

I love asking my kids “Are you sure?” The question forces them to stop for a moment and revisit whether or not they are sure about their choice. Sometimes it’s a simple yes answer. Other times the kids stop and reason their choices out loud to see if they are right. Regardless, getting used to making sure you are correct about your choice is a good habit.

Then we went outside. I laid out and taped down butcher paper. We put our feet into paint and made our own tracks. First we walked, then ran, then jumped. We looked at our tracks for each of the movements. The kids played a “same and different” game – what is the same about each of the tracks and what is different.

Lastly, we went on a track hunt. Our neighborhood has tracks  – mostly dogs and bunnies and cars. It was fun to go out and watch the kids looking around for tracks and trying to see if they could find anything new for tracks. Nicholas, my imaginative child, decided that the lines he saw in the grass were from a snake. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but I certainly was laughing hard. He explained to Abby why a snake leaves a long line as a track. His explanation: It has no legs and slithers, like this….. (he proceeded to get down on the ground and slither).

I can’t wait until we go hiking and get to see more tracks. Maybe the kids will remember some of their lessons.

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