Nature Detectives

If an animal were to commit a crime; figuring out the critter to blame wouldn’t be too difficult. Animals leave behind many great clues from tracks, droppings, feathers, claw marks, food scraps, cocoons, casings, nests and more. This module allows the children to investigate local natural areas looking for evidence of animal activity. They will explore wooded areas, beaches, trails and grasslands looking for clues that mammals, bird, insects and other organisms have left behind. In addition, they will participate in various activities that bring out the nature detectives in them.

Lesson 1 - Animal Evidence Introduction

The goal this week is to introduce the children to tracking and open their eyes to looking for signs of animal activity. Allow them to go on a scavenger hunt, exploring the park or natural areas for animal evidence. Some of the things on the list may be hard to find, offer some help or put a time limit on the hunt. Ask the groups that finish first to sit still with their eyes closed counting the animal sounds they hear. After have a discussion with the children about what they have found and get them excited for the following week.

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Lesson 2 - Tracking Expedition

Now that the children have been introduced to tracking and looking for animal evidence, it is time to go on a tracking expedition. 

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Lesson 3 - Tracks and Trails Challenge

This week challenge the children to lay down there own tracks and trails with various fun games!

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Lesson 4 - Searching 

To be a nature detective you have to have a good eye. This week the students will be searching for items placed along a trail or in the woods ahead of time. They may be taken on an un-nature trail, pointing out the things they see that do not belong in that area or they can play animal halves, searching the area for the rest of their animal pictures.

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Lesson 5 - Top Detectives

For a top detective finding evidence of crime is second nature. They know when something has been tampered with. A top detective's ability to question others is uncanny. They know the right questions to ask, to get the answers they need. This lesson will test young nature detectives, as they search for evidence of crime or try to find answers.

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