Animal Signs & Seedheads
Biodiversity is the variety of life around us and it can be seen everywhere! The trick is that sometimes you need to look extra hard to see them. In the winter this may mean looking at the less conspicuous (but really cool) seedheads that remain from the flashy flowers of summer. It might also mean looking for clues and signs that animals leave behind to know that they will be hanging around, rather than seeing the animal themselves. To learn more about these animal signs and winter seedheads, use your biodiversity sheets and check out these activities!
Download the activity and worksheets below.
Animal Signs - Activity 1: Brainstorm Activity
There aren't always a ton of animals to be seen around in winter. This can lead to the misconception that there aren’t a lot of animals living around us! This activity is meant to get students reflecting on what they’ve seen around. They are encouraged to use this information to make a hypothesis for what animals live around them.
Animal Signs - Activity 2: Who’s living here?
The winters in Canada are tough to survive and sometimes, we don’t really see many animals out and about in the cold. This can make winter seem like a pretty dead season but don’t be fooled-there is still a ton of wildlife out there! We just need to take a closer look at the clues that they leave behind. This activity is meant to get kids thinking critically about how we can tell if an animal lives in a habitat, even if we can’t see them. It allows students to use their investigative skills and find different clues in a habitat as well as familiarize themselves with their local green spaces.
Animal Signs - Activity 3: Field Notebook
Having a reminder or a follow-up for a learning experience is a great way for students to remember what they have learned. This activity aims to help students process the information they are introduced to in a hands-on way that leaves them with something to take home and reflect on. It also encourages them to continue exploring the subject and to keep adding to their field notebook.
Animal Signs - Activity 4: Through the Seasons
Things don’t always look the same through the seasons, that includes animal signs! This activity is meant to get students thinking about and understanding these changes.
Animal Signs - Activity 5: Owl Pellets
Animal signs can tell us more than just what animals are around. In fact, owl pellets are a sign that can give us clues to the animal’s life- like what they’ve been snacking on! Check out this activity to learn more about what an owl pellet is and how you can go about learning more from it.
Animal Sign - Activity 6: Why leave the sign?
Animals are hard to spot for a reason-they don’t want to be found! That being said, signs do get left behind and animals usually have a good reason for leaving them. This activity is meant to get students thinking critically about the animal signs they discover.
Winter Seedheads - Activity 7: How do I travel?
In nature, many features have evolved overtime for specific reasons. The same goes for seedheads of plants. They all look a bit different but why? What’s the point? This activity encourages students to use their critical thinking skills and think about why something is the way that it is. How does this structure help the plant survive?
Winter Seedheads - Activity 8: Seedhead Display
Sometimes, the best way to learn about something is to get creative and hands-on! This activity allows students to exercise their artistic talents and work together to create a display for the classroom. This display can be added to overtime and serve as a reminder of what they have learned.
Winter Seedheads - Activity 9: Urban Seedheads
Not all students have access to a large green space. Try exploring a local garden to find some urban seedheads!
Winter Seedheads - Activity 10: Drawing Winter Seadheads
Try learning through a new perspective! Different plants have come up with different ways to disperse their seed and grow new plants. This activity allows students to learn more about the functions of a winter seedhead through their artwork and explore different avenues for science communication.
Winter Seedheads - Activity 11: Nature First - Biomimicry
Over the years, humans have borrowed designs from nature to help with our own design challenges. This is called biomimicry. This activity allows the student to think critically about the functions of different structural characteristics, and to make connections between the natural world and their own.