Having students follow animal tracks (even just people, dogs, or squirrels) and investigating how tracks are made is a fun and exciting way to develop critical thinking, measurement, and graphing skills.
Context for Use
Project EXTREMES lessons were intended to be stand alone lessons.
What Students Will Do
Learn how measurements in combination with observation can reveal information about the speed, size, and condition of the animal from its tracks.
Learn how to use inferential skills along with data answer questions with limited information available.
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Activity 1 – Engage (20 minutes) Inferring from Evidence
Working like scientists do, students use the information available to fill in missing pieces of the puzzle.
Activity 2 – Explore (90 minutes) Unraveling the Mysteries Found in Tracks
Students collect data to answer questions with graphs and come up with evidence that describes motions recorded in tracks.
Activity 3 – Explain (20 minutes) Graphs as Models
Students analyze and interpret their data and two graphs to determine if the data collected on humans would be similar to animals.
Activity 4 – Elaborate (30 minutes) From Observations to Inferences
Students determine what an animal was doing based on evidence in the snow.
Activity 5 – Evaluate (10 minutes) What do Animal, Fossil, and Car Tracks all have in Common?
Students consider how they could use the skills they learned to analyze other events.