Objective: The children will make footprints and compare them to different types of animal tracks.
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Note: Before the activity, place some paint on a paper plate for each teacher who will be painting the children’s feet.
All mammals that move on the ground have padded feet and can leave tracks. Both people and animals can leave footprints; animals with paws leave paw prints, and animals with hooves leave hoof prints. Animal prints can differ from human footprints in size, shape, and number of toes. Sometimes, the tracks can be seen for a long time after the animal or person has left the area. Animal tracks can be used to study their behavior and tell us a little bit about their habitats. Some animals—like black bears, for instance—use the same tracks over and over again.
Animal scientists are called biologists. Wildlife biologists study animal tracks to learn more about the animals’ natural habitats. They observe and track animals so they can learn about animal needs. Scientists can sometimes tell the size and age of an animal just by looking at their tracks. These scientists help us to understand the animals and make recommendations to help protect them and their natural habitats.
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.