Suggested Project WILD Activities
Environmental Barometer - Students go outside to observe and count or estimate wildlife in an area; do the same in another setting to compare findings; and make a school barometer (optional). Upon completion students observe and count wildlife in an area; discuss why the wildlife is or is not present; and consider ways in which the presence of wildlife can be seen as an indicator of environmental quality. Requires writing materials; poster board or construction paper; marking pens or crayons.
Ethi-thinking - Students list activities that might be harmful to wild plants and animals and use photos or drawings to picture, discuss, interpret and evaluate those activities. Upon completion students generate a list of activities done outside that are harmful to wildlife and the environment; discuss reasons these activities are not appropriate; and recommend alternate activities that are not harmful. Requires art materials (crayons, construction paper, magazines for photos) to make discussion cards.
Everybody Needs a Home - Students draw pictures of their homes and compare their needs with those of other animals. Upon completion students generalize that people and other animals share a basic need to have a home. Requires drawing paper; crayons or chalk.
Good Buddies (TX adaptation) - Students research pairs of animals, play a card game, and classify the pairs of animals according to the three major forms of symbiotic relationships. Upon completion students define symbiosis, commensalism, mutualism and parasitism; identify animals that live in each type of relationship; and explain that symbiotic relationships are examples of the intricate web of interdependence in which all plants and animals live. Requires copies of cards provided in activity; research materials.
Graphananimal - Students create picture collections of animals in two different habitats and then "visit" the habitats by going on a "nature walk" in their classroom. They tally the number of animals they see, then graph and compare the results. Upon completion students identify characteristic life forms in two different environments. Requires photos or pictures of animals; cardboard for mounting photos; notebook paper; graph paper; pencils.
Habitracks - Students identify the components of habitat by using a map and exploring their school grounds. Upon completion students identify basic components of habitat; generalize that all animals including people need these components. Requires habitat maps, task cards, habitat components, glue or tape, pencils, scissors, chalkboard, and small paper bags.
Habitrekking - Students go outside to conduct an investigation requiring observation, interpretation and data-gathering skills, then prepare and present their findings. Upon completion students summarize evidence about the nature of habitats; and generalize from evidence that people and wildlife have similar basic needs, share environments and are subject to the same or similar environmental problems. Requires copies of "Habitrekking Evidence Lists" from activity; mixed media available for students to create visual and verbal reports.
Learning to Look, Looking to See - Students list what they remember seeing in a familiar environment, check their accuracy and discuss the results, and then apply their experiences and new skills to an unfamiliar outdoor setting. Upon completion students describe differences seen in an environment as the result of casual and detailed observation; and give reasons for the importance of looking closely at any environment. Requires note pads.
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.
Water Plant Art- (Aquatic) Students create artwork showing aquatic habitats from their drawings and pressed aquatic plants. Upon completion students identify aquatic plants as an important component in aquatic habitats and for aquatic wildlife.
Wildlife is Everywhere! - Students search their environment for evidence of wildlife. Upon completion students state that humans and wildlife share environments; and generalize that wildlife is present in areas all over the earth. Requires no materials. String is optional.