E. T. A LOCAL WAY OF LEARNING
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary
School Environmental Education Team
The students will be able to tell about and record observations
made of the tracks for at least three different animals.
We can learn much about nature by the kind of animal life present.- Since
animals often hide when intruded upon, we can only know of their presence by the
tracks they leave.
Break the class into teams of
tracks in a designated area.
to make plaster casts of some
four. Each team will then look for different
A low wet area or seashore is best. You may want
of the tracks.
Casts of Animal Tracks*
Find a sharp, clean-cut footprint of an animal in mud or sand; stand a cardboard
collar around it. Mix plaster of Paris and water until just thin enough to pour,
and fill the track to the top of the collar. Allow the plaster to stand about f
if teen minutes to harden, then pick the plaster up, collar and all, and wrap
carefully in newspaper to prevent rubbing while it is still slightly soft. Then
thoroughly dry and hard, brush off any sand or mud which may be clinging to the
track and you will have a negative or raised cast of the footprint. To make the
positive, grease the negative cast, fit a cardboard collar around it and fill
with more plaster of Paris. This second cast will be the positive, showing the
sunken impression of the animal's foot just as it appeared in the mud or sand.
Look carefully for different animal tracks. Be careful not to destroy any that
you find. You may find tracks of birds (pelicans, boobys, bananaquits, gulls),
or of animals (dogs, cats, mongooses, deer, rats, mice, goats, cow).
*From Audubon Aids: Animals and How They Live,
Casts of Animal Tracks
Answer these questions on your sheet for each track you find. Look for at least
three different tracks
Questions to Answer Animal #1 Animal #2 Animal #3
How long is the
How wide is the
How many toes or
How many toes or
Is the track old
Draw a sketch of
I a fore foot?
I a hind foot?
' the track.
For each group of tracks you find
answer these questions.
7. What direction was the animal
8. Was the animal walking or
9. What other signs of the animal
10. What are the feet adapted for?
(climbing, grasping, running)
11. What kind of food would this
12. What is the name of this animal?