Suggested Project WILD Activities: Nature's Nursery
Activities are available through our free Project WILD workshops.
Adaptation Artistry - Students design and create imaginary birds and write reports including descriptions of the birds' adaptations. Upon completion students identify and describe the advantages of bird adaptations and evaluate the importance of adaptations to birds. Requires drawing paper, painting, clay sculpture or papier-mache materials; construction paper and glue; and pencil and paper.
Animal Poetry - Students go outside, imagine themselves as animals and then write poems. Upon completion students recognize and experience the inspirational value of wildlife. Requires writing materials.
Are You Me? - Using picture cards students match pairs of juvenile and adult aquatic animals. Upon completion students recognize various adult and juvenile stages of aquatic animals; and define metamorphosis. Requires Are You Me cards and art supplies.
Bearly Growing - Students illustrate, compute and graph differences between people and black bears at various stages of maturity. Upon completion students identify similar survival needs of both black bears and human babies. Requires graph paper and drawing paper. Optional: yardsticks, 36-inch sewing tapes.
Color Crazy - Students create representations of colorful wild animals. Upon completion students generalize that wildlife occurs in a wide variety of colors. Requires pictures of brightly colored animals; crayons; paint; chalk; construction paper; scissors; glue. Optional other brightly colored art construction material, like artificial feathers, tissue paper, acorns, uncooked noodles.
Drawing on Nature - Students use techniques of observation and visualization to record wildlife by drawing. Upon completion students generalize that wildlife and other animals are important inspirations for art and science. Requires drawing materials.
Muskox Maneuvers - Students simulate musk oxen and wolves in a physical activity. Upon completion students evaluate the effectiveness of some adaptations in predator/prey relationships; and describe the importance of predator/prey relationships as limiting factors in wildlife populations. Requires 2 colors of rag flags to use as tails (like those in flag football); there need to be as many flags as there are wolves and calves.
Quick Frozen Critters (Quick Freeze Prairie Dogs) - Students play an active version of "freeze tag". Upon completion students discuss predator/prey relationships, including adaptations; describe the importance of adaptations in predator/prey relationships; and recognize that limiting factors - including predator/prey relationships - affect wildlife populations. Requires food tokens (3 per student); gym vests or labeling devices to mark predators; four or five hula hoops or jump ropes to serve as "cover" markers; pencil and paper to record number of captures (if desired).
Surprise Terrarium - Students observe a live animal that uses camouflage techniques. Upon completion students identify camouflage as an example of adaptation in an animal; and describe the importance of adaptation to animals. Requires terrarium with vegetation and one animal suited to the kind of habitat components represented in the terrarium (the animal should be one that uses camouflage as a form of adaptation to survive; e.g. leaf hopper, tree frog, tree lizard, walking stick.
The Thicket Game - Students become "predator" and "prey" in a version of hide and seek. Upon completion students define adaptation in animals; and generalize that all animals are adapted to survive. Requires blindfolds; outdoor area like a thicket or other vegetated area free of poisonous plants and other hazards where students can hide.
Turtle Hurdles - Students become sea turtles and limiting factors in a highly active simulation game. Upon completion students describe the life cycle of seas turtles; identify species mortality factors related to sea turtles; make inferences about the effects of limiting factors on sea turtle populations; and make recommendations to minimize the factors that might lead to the extinction of sea turtles. Requires rope or string; tow jump ropes or hula hoops; one plastic bag per student; identification cards; wooden clothes pins; poker chips; and dried beans.top