IFAW s Animal Action Education Program

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1 backyard wildlife IFAW s Animal Action Education Program IFAW works around the world to help educate people about how they can better share their habitat with all the animals large and small that live near their homes. This resource helps students develop the following skills: Reading comprehension - retrieving and recording information from a non-fiction passage. Writing - writing in response to prompts and an imaginative narrative. Math - interpreting data, constructing bar graphs, and answering simple questions by counting. Researching and Writing - write an imaginative narrative based on research. For more information and additional educational kits visit /lessons-ca.

2 Name Backyard Buddies Reading Comprehension Have you ever thought of your yard as a home for wild animals? Some wild animals live in your backyard. You may know that endangered animals need help, but common critters need a safe place to live too! Deer are wild animals. When forests are cut down, some deer do not have a place to live. This is why you may see deer in your yard. Butterflies are insects. They live almost everywhere in the world. A butterfly starts as a caterpillar. It eats the leaves of plants. Then it changes into a butterfly. You can help butterflies by putting native plants (plants that come from your area) in your garden. Some wild rabbits live above ground. Others live underground. They rest during the day and eat plants and grass at night. You may find a rabbit in your garden! Do not hurt it. Fence your garden to keep the rabbit out. Squirrels eat mostly nuts, fruits and seeds. They gather and store food all year round so they have enough to eat in the winter. What wild animals do you see in your back yard?

3 Name Questions 1. What is the main idea of this passage? 2. Which four wild animals is this passage about? 3. Are you more likely to see a rabbit eating at noon or at midnight? Explain. 4. Are you more likely to see a caterpillar eating a leaf or a bug? Explain. 5. Find a sentence that states a fact. Write it. Quiz Tell whether the following are true or false. True False 1. Butterflies are found only in Canada. 2. Deer can live in a forest. 3. Rabbits eat bugs. 4. Squirrels store food for the winter.

4 Name Ready to Write About Backyard Wildlife! Writing Check the box after completing each prompt. Younger students can share answers out loud as a group. Think about animals you have seen in your backyard or in your neighborhood. Make a list of the animals. Which one do you see the most? Why do you think you see this animal the most? Deer live many places in our country and around the world in forests, swamps, prairies, and deserts. However they are often found in neighborhoods where people live too. Why do you think deer roam into neighborhoods? Would you rather find a rabbit or a deer in your backyard? Explain. A rabbit s large ears help it hear sounds all around. How do you think a good sense of hearing helps a rabbit survive in the wild? Write an imaginative story: One day I was in my yard, and I saw the most beautiful butterfly! Animals like butterflies, deer, and rabbits can be found living alongside people in many different places around the world.

5 Name Squirrel Sightings Mathematics Ben and Emma spent one hour each day watching for tree squirrels. Their results are in the chart below. Tree Squirrel Sightings Day Ben Emma Monday 8 16 Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 4 6 Friday 12 7 Key = Ben = Emma Number of Squirrels Number of Tree Squrrels per Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Days

6 Activity Name Use the data in the chart to make a double-bar graph. Then use the graph to answer each question. Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper. Questions 1. On which day did Ben spot more squirrels than Emma? 2. Which day had the most squirrel sightings? 3. The weather on Thursday was cool and rainy. The weather on Friday was warm and sunny. How might the weather impact the data? 4. On which day did Ben spot half as many squirrels as Emma? 5. On which day did Ben spot two times as many squirrels as Emma? 6. On Monday, Ben watched for squirrels while sitting on the sidewalk. Emma sat in her woody backyard. How could this difference impact the data? 7. Does the time of day that the sightings were done impact the data? Why or why not? 8. Write the total number of squirrel sightings for each child. Ben Emma

7 Tales From the Backyard Researching and Writing 1. To begin, give each student a copy of an animal fact cards on the following page. 2. Have each student read the cards, choose one, and write at least three questions about that animal. Then ask the student to research the answers to the questions. Students may work in pairs to complete this activity. 3. You may want students to gather in a group to discuss their findings. 4. Next, have each child plan and write an imaginative narrative incorporating the animal on his or her card and the information from the research. Encourage students to be creative and think of situations the animal may encounter, based on the research. Tell students that since they are writing imaginative tales, they can include dialogue between the animals in their stories. 5. Compile the completed stories into a class book titled Tales From the Backyard. Leave the book somewhere where students can read eachothers stories A keeper bottle-feeds a baby muntjac deer that was rescued at the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center in Assam, India.

8 Animal Fact Cards Butterfly Body: The butterfly has a head, thorax, and an abdomen. It uses its antennae to smell. Its wings are covered by tiny scales that give the butterfly its color and pattern. Climate: Butterflies live almost everywhere in the world. Food: A butterfly is a caterpillar first. It eats plants and leaves. Once it turns into a butterfly, it eats nectar from plants. Life cycle: A female butterfly lays her eggs on plants. Caterpillars hatch from the eggs. The caterpillar makes a shell around itself and becomes a pupa. Finally, an adult butterfly emerges from this shell. Squirrel Body: The body of a squirrel is shaped like a cylinder. A squirrel has a furry tail. Its jaws are powerful for gnawing. Climate: Squirrels live on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Food: Squirrels mostly eat nuts, seeds, and pinecones. They store food from the summer and fall in the ground, under fallen leaves, or near their nests. Shelter: Squirrels make nests in holes in trees or on tree branches. Deer Body: The body of a deer is large and covered with hair. Deer have antlers on their heads. In most species, only the male has the antlers. Their legs are long and thin for running. Climate: Deer live on every continent except Antarctica. Food: Deer eat grass, flowers, leaves, twigs, and small tree branches. Shelter: Deer do not make permanent homes. They roam an area called their home range. They tend to stay near the edge of forests, shrubs, or swampy areas. Rabbit Body: The body of a rabbit varies in size. An adult cottontail rabbit can weigh up to six pounds. Rabbits have fur, long ears, and short fluffy tails. They hop using their long hind legs. A rabbit s eyes are on the side of its head. Its sense of smell is keen to help detect danger. Climate: Rabbits live throughout the world in all climates. Food: Rabbits eat green leafy plants like grass and herbs. They also eat twigs, bark, and fruit from bushes and trees. Shelter: Rabbits live in burrows or shallow depressions in the ground called forms.

9 Answer Keys Backyard Buddies Answer Key Questions 1. Backyard animals are wildlife. 2. Deer, butterflies, rabbits 3. Midnight. Rabbits rest during the day. 4. Leaf. Caterpillars eat leaves and plants. 5. Sentences will vary. Quiz 1. False. Butterflies are found almost everywhere in the world. 2. True. Deer can live in forests but may come into your yard if forests are cut down. 3. False. Rabbits eat plants and grass. 4. True. Squirrels gather food to store for the winter. Squrrel Sightings Answer Key 1. Tuesday 2. Wednesday 3. More squirrels probably were out on the day with nicer weather. 4. Monday 5. Tuesday 6. More squirrels are likely to be in the wooded backyard than on the sidewalk. 7. Yes, it could. Tree squirrels are active during the day. 8. Ben: 58 Emma: 57

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