Grade Level: 3-5
Subject: Science
Teacher: Nancy Fisher, Sauvie Island Academy

sauvieistracking2Another powerful science lesson students do in my class is to ask ourselves, “Who might live in our habitat and how could we find out?”
We brainstorm a list and then partners build an animal tracker: Take an old board (about 1 footlong and 6 inches wide). Decorate and laminate a large piece of construction paper (12 x 15) or a little smaller. In the center of the board, hot glue a plastic cap on so that it can be filled with peanut butter. Next, hot glue 2 pieces of felt on each end of the board. Roll ink onto the pieces of felt. Now hammer the laminated piece of paper onto the board so the paper creates a tunnel for an animal to crawl through. Finally, cut a notecard in half. Place each half inside the tunnel just before the cup of peanut butter. Now your tracker is ready. Ask the class where they predict the tracker might get the most traffic. Would the edge of the forest be best, ordeep in the forest, Or in the open field? Predict what animals might visit the tracker, then set them outside. Bring in lots of field guides and posters of animal tracks, and check them the next day. Discuss the findings, and use this data to create scientific investigations throughout the year. Students love to go collect the white paper full of tiny tracks– sometimes these are the beginnings of the most creative poems or imaginative stories about forest parties : )