Inspect Animal Tracks
Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my! The next time you and your fifth grader go on a hike, take along this key to figure out which of eight common North American animals left a track along the river bank. Help your young explorer learn to use a dichotomous key—a series of questions with two possible answers, each of which leads you to the next question. Your child will delight in exploring the natural world through a scientific lens!
What You Need:
- Dichotomous key (you can print the questions below)
- Printed track templates which will give you images of tracks for a deer, duck, turkey, coyote, bobcat, beaver, raccoon, or black bear. This will help you double check your results.
What You Do:
1. Is the track heart shaped?
2. Does the track have three toes facing forward?
3. Are the toes webbed?
4. Does the track have 4 toes?
5. Does the track have claw marks?
6. Are the toes webbed?
7. Does it look like a small hand print?