Exploring Animal Tracks
Educator and author Edith Sisson knows that every season is exciting for children. In winter, snow in many areas makes the finding of animal tracks much easier than at other times of year, so Sisson encourages us to get out and look for some. (If you live in a warmer climate, wait for the mud that follows a heavy rain to look for your tracks.)
Here are a few fun ways to be a “track detective”!
1. Find animal tracks in the snow. Identify them, using a track guide.
2. Follow them to find what story they may tell. Animal track stories in the snow generate excitement as the plot of the story is unraveled, clue by clue. Play “track detectives” and watch for the following clues: Size and shape of the tracks, number of toes showing, claw marks (if any), length of stride and sidewise width, and the overall pattern. Are there tail or wing marks? Which direction was the animal going, and where do the tracks lead?
3. To preserve an animal track story, sketch the tracks and record all the observations about them. Remember that in populated areas many tracks may be those of dogs and cats. Make a pet track survey of the area.
Adapted from Nature with Children of All Ages by Edith A. Sisson (Prentice-Hall, 1982). Copyright (c) 1982 by Edith A. Sisson. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Adapted from Nature with Children of All Ages by Edith A. Sisson (Prentice-Hall, 1982).