Student Research Page
No Place Like Home
This month let's look at animal homes! If you don't have a copy of the magazine, you may print a copy of No Place Like Home (pdf).
First, draw a map of your home. Is there a place to store food? Eat? Sleep? Stay out of the rain? Label each part of your home with its purpose. Is your home essential to your survival?
Not all animals need a nest or a den, but all animals need shelter for survival. Some wildlife find shelter, some build it and others carry it on their backs! Birds and insects build nests to raise their young. Beavers build dams. Prairie dogs dig tunnels. The hermit crab recycles old shells to live in. Sometimes shelter for wildlife is also called "cover" and means plants and vegetation where they can hide or travel and not be seen.
Which of these are reasons wildlife need shelter?
___A place to raise young
___Protection from weather
___Hide from predators
___A safe route to travel
___A safe place to rest
___A place to store food
___All of the above
If you said all of the above, you are correct!
Look at the Learn About Texas web pages. Using the main page or the Wildlife page for each region, make a chart of wildlife that:
- Live in a home higher than your head
- Build a home to raise their young
- Live in dens, caves or hollow logs
- Burrow into the ground
BONUS! Do your own research to see if you can find species in Texas that live:
- In a home with a hinge
- Under a rock
- On an artificial reef
Wild Geometry and Wild Architecture
Think of shapes and materials from nature. Did you know architects and engineers learn from nature? A wasp nest or honey comb from bees is one of best uses of space. Mud daubers have a special way of keeping mud from drying out while they build their nest. Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes and birds use all sorts of materials to build them. What interesting shapes and materials have you seen used in nature?
- Look for signs of animal homes in a park, natural area and your neighborhood
- Can you find evidence of wildlife above your head? On the ground? Evidence of wildlife that lives underground? Don't forget bugs!
Keeping It Wild!
- Make a bird house
- Make a paper bird house (PDF 78.5 KB)
- Make a bird feeder (PDF 78.5 KB)
- Make a bird buffet! Recipes for the Birds (PDF 253.2 KB)
Just for fun, go outside and make a fort, tent or club house. Use things you can find to build it and invite your friends to play!
- Luna moth video:
- Do you have any of these trees in your part of Texas? hickory, persimmon, sweet gum, walnut
- Prairie Dogs
- Black-footed Ferrets and Prairie Dogs (PDF 318.4 KB) (make a mask, draw a prairie dog town and more!)
- Hermit crab changing homes video:
- Weird Stuff – giant spider web at a Tawakoni State Park!
- Newspaper story
Queen Angelfish, National Geographic Kids video
Barn Swallow, Cornell Ornithology Lab fact sheet
- Young Naturalist page: Squirrels
- Eastern Fox Squirrel fact sheet
- The Neighbor Squirrel, TPW Magazine
- Young Naturalist page: Hummingbirds