Project WILD Activities

Cover-Rivers Rock

TPW Magazine, July 2010
If you don't have a copy of the TPW magazine, you may print a copy of Rivers Rock (pdf).

Rivers Rock!

Activities are available through our Project WILD workshops.

Fashion a Fish (Aquatic) – Students design a fish adapted for various aquatic habitats.  Upon completion students describe adaptations of fish to their environments; describe how adaptations help fish survive; and interpret the importance of adaptations to animals.  Requires body shape, coloration, reproduction, and mouth card set for each group of students. 

Dragonfly Pond (Aquatic) – Students create a collage of human land use activities around an image of a pond.  Upon completion students evaluate the effects of different kinds of land use on wetland habitats; and discuss and evaluate lifestyles changes to minimize damaging effects on wetlands.  Requires for each team scissors; masking tape; paper; 2 sets of Land Use Patterns; one Dragonfly Pond map; and a large piece of paper. 

Marsh Munchers (Aquatic)
– Students use body movement and pantomime to simulate the feeding motions of marsh animals.  Upon completion students identify components of a food web in a salt march; and identify their interconnectedness in the food web.  Requires timer; construction paper for tokens; predator feeding behavior cards; detritus eater cards; and one envelope per student

Rainfall and the Forest – Students work with state highway and vegetative maps to determine relationships between rainfall, vegetation and animal habitats.  Upon completion students correlate rainfall data with vegetative communities; correlate vegetative communities with animal life; recognize interrelationships among living and non-living elements of the environment; and understand that populations and the fluctuations of those populations are influenced by climatic conditions.  Requires (for each group) highway maps of state; sheets of tracing paper (19X24” or 17X22”); different colored crayons; information about annual elevation and rainfall for 25 to 30 communities in the state; vegetative map of state.  Optional range maps of selected wildlife species in state. 

Riparian Retreat (Aquatic)
– Awareness of a riparian zone is created through the use of a simulated field trip and artwork.  Upon completion students describe habitat characteristics of riparian zones; identify animals that inhabit them; and state the importance of riparian areas to wildlife and humans.  Requires art materials: water colors, acrylics, poster paint, and crayons.

Riparian Zone
–  Students simulate a Board of Commissioners hearing.  Upon completion students identify and describe factors frequently involved in land use planning; and evaluate possible consequences for wildlife and other elements of the environment where land use planning does not take place.  Requires butcher paper or poster materials; a classroom arranged as a commission hearing room. 

Silt: A Dirty Word (Aquatic) - Students create a model to simulate changes to a stream and its water flow when silt and/or sand are added to the system.  Upon completion students describe how sand and/or silt affects water flow; and identify human activities that add sand and silt to surface water.  Requires for each group a clear plastic 1 gallon container; gravel to cover bottom of container; water to fill the container 1” from the top; 1 cup coarse sand; 1 cup silt; and three straws per person. 

To Dam or Not to Dam (Aquatic)
– Students portray individuals representing differing perspectives and concerns related to a complex issue.  Upon completion students evaluate potential positive and negative effects from constructing a dam on a river.  Requires role-playing cards on

Watered-Down History (Aquatic)
– Students investigate the history of a chosen waterway through research methods, a taped personal interview and public records; and then display their findings on a mural.  Upon completion students describe human, plant and animal life associated with waterways; predict the future of a waterway; and analyze cause-and-effect relationships between events affecting the waterway.  Requires county, city or regional maps; names of agencies responsible for historic records; art material.  The name of a person to interview is optional.

Watershed (Aquatic)
–  Students measure the area of a local watershed, calculate the amount of water it receives each year, and discuss the varied roles the watershed plays in human and animal lives.  Upon completion students describe the characteristics of watersheds; discuss the role of watersheds as wildlife and human habitat; and give examples of watershed conservation.  Requires six stakes or markers; hammer; measuring tapes; writing materials; clipboards; and easel paper

Wetland Metaphors (Aquatic)
– Students are presented with a selection of objects for investigation as metaphors for the natural functions of wetlands.  Upon completion students describe the characteristics of wetlands and evaluate the importance of wetlands to wildlife and people.  Requires a large pillowcase or box; sponge; small pillow; soap; eggbeater or mixer; small doll cradle; sieve or strainer; paper coffee filter; antacid tablets; small box of cereal; 3X5 cards with pictures that could be used to show other wetland metaphors. 

What’s in the Water? (Aquatic)
– Students analyze the pollutants found in a hypothetical river.  They graph the quantities of pollutants and make recommendations about actions that could be taken to improve the habitat.  Upon completion students identify major sources of aquatic pollution; and make inferences about the potential effects of a variety of aquatic pollutants on wildlife and wildlife habitats.  Requires nine different colors of construction paper; writing or graph paper; scotch tape or glue; paper punch; Pollution Information sheets; ¼ teaspoon; 1 tablespoon. 

Where Does Water Run? (Aquatic) – Students measure and calculate the area of a study site; calculate the volume and weight of water falling on that site; determine specific and  annual rainfall and runoff; and trace the course of water to aquatic habitats.  Upon completion students describe relationships between precipitation, runoff and aquatic habitats.  Requires writing materials; meter or yardsticks; long piece of twine with marks every yard or meter; rain gauge; and local rainfall data.  Calculators and trundle wheel are optional.