Project WILD Activities

Activities and TEKS Connections: Project WILD

Cover - Conserving Critters
Hazardous Links, Possible Solutions (Once called Deadly Links)

Students become hawks, shrews and grasshoppers in a physical activity. Upon completion students give examples of ways in which pesticides enter food chains and describe possible consequences of pesticides entering food chains. Requires white and colored drinking straws or pipe cleaners or poker chips or any other material that students can easily pick up; 30 pieces per student in a proportion of 2/3 white to 1/3 colored pieces; one bag per grasshopper.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Students become familiar with classification of animals, conduct research, and make a master list of threatened and endangered animals locally and/or nationally, including factors affecting the animals’ condition. Upon completion students identify and describe some causes for extinction of animal species; define threatened, rare and endangered as applied to wildlife; and name threatened and endangered animals living in their area. Requires information from state and federal agencies about threatened and endangered animals; poster making materials; writing materials.

History of Wildlife Management 

Students generate questions and contact agencies and organizations involved in wildlife management for information. Upon completion students define wildlife management; and describe major trends in wildlife management philosophies and practices. Requires research, writing, and skit materials.

Planting Animals

Students write a letter to a state or provincial wildlife agency for information and make dioramas of transplanted animals in new habitats. Upon completion students describe reasons for "transplanting" animals; and identify one animal that has been transplanted in their own state or province. Requires writing materials; magazine photos; scissors; glue. Boxes for dioramas are optional.

Polar Bears in Phoenix?

Students design and draw a zoo enclosure appropriate for the survival of a polar bear in a hot, arid climate. Upon completion students identify problems for an animal moved from its natural environment to captivity. Requires drawing paper and crayons.

Rare Bird Eggs for Sale

Students participate in a debate. Upon completion student identify reasons for and consequences of collecting wildlife and wildlife products; and suggest and evaluate alternatives to collection to satisfy collection needs. Requires reference materials.

Too Close for Comfort 

Students experiment with physical distance and levels of comfort in humans, estimate appropriate distances between humans and wildlife under various conditions; hypothesize about indicators of animal discomfort; and summarize reasons to avoid animal discomfort through crowding. Upon completion students describe possible negative consequences for people and wildlife under conditions of crowding; and identify ways people can behave in order to reduce negative consequences of crowding for wildlife. No materials required.

Who Fits Here?

Students play an identification game with posters and cards. Upon completion students identify characteristic life forms in ecosystems; match appropriate life forms to ecosystems; and generalize that each ecosystem has characteristic life forms, adapted to live there. Requires poster board (10 sheets); crayons, paints or magazine photos; index cards or construction paper for 50 adaptation cards.

Aquatic WILD

Turtle Hurdles

Students become sea turtles and limiting factors in a highly active simulation game. Upon completion students describe the life cycle of seas turtles; identify species mortality factors related to sea turtles; make inferences about the effects of limiting factors on sea turtle populations; and make recommendations to minimize the factors that might lead to the extinction of sea turtles. Requires rope or string; tow jump ropes or hula hoops; one plastic bag per student; identification cards; wooden clothes pins; poker chips; and dried beans.

Whale of a Tail

Students use computational, graphing and measuring techniques to draw or sculpture live-size replicas of whales. Upon completion students describe the sizes of different whales compared to their own body sizes. Requires one-inch grid paper; large sheets of paper; tape measures; writing materials; meter sticks or yardsticks.; sidewalk chalk; and carpenter’s chalk line.

What’s in the Water?

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.

When a Whale is Right

Students hold a hypothetical meeting of the International Whaling Commission. Upon completion students describe general characteristics and status of whales; recognize that international alliances affect wildlife; and evaluate the possible impact of wildlife issues on alliances and other relationships between and among nations. Requires writing materials and research materials.