Welcome to Grandpa's Garden. Here you will find information and activities about the world around you. Throughout history, people have learned to live in harmony with nature in order to survive. It is important to learn about the environment and how we can protect it.
Now that you are ready to explore your environment, it is important to make sure you do not harm it. Good environmentalists follow some basic rules that protect nature while enjoying and observing it. Nature is the home of birds and animals. Just like we are careful not to damage other people's homes when we visit, we need to make sure we do not change the area we are studying. Items should be left where they are found. Remember, if you take things away, you might be removing a creature's lunch. To be a true protector, we can look at and enjoy, but do our best not to change nature. We can share the space as long as we are respectful of it and the creatures who live there.
Exploring animal tracks is an excellent way to learn about their lives. In winter, tracks in the snow are easy to follow. Look around your yard or local park to see if there is any evidence an animal has travelled through it.
You will need: journal to record evidence (can be made by folding and stapling sheets of paper) pencil ruler magnifying glass (optional) reference book about tracks (optional)
Find an area where the snow has not been disturbed by humans. Look around the base of trees. Always look before you step so you will not walk on the tracks. When you spot a track, stop and observe it. Look for the path it takes and follow it with your eyes first. Observe how many toes and claws you can count and the shape of the pad (base) of the track. Sketch the track in your journal. Record where the track is located and its measurements. Ask these questions: Are the tracks beside each other or one after another? Can you see a front foot and a back foot? Can you tell if the creature was walking, running or hopping? How can you tell? Did the creature continue to travel in the same direction or zigzag around? Was the creature heading to its home or searching for food? Is there evidence of one creature chasing another? Can you figure out what animal made this track? Use a track book to help confirm the identity of the animal who made the track. Record all the information you learn in your journal.
Your Animal Journal could include: Name of animal Description of animal Colours Size (length, height. weight) Special features Habitat (where it lives) Detailed drawing of animal Drawing or photo of tracks
A raccoon and its habitat.
artwork by Callum
artwork by Callum
Photographs of animal tracks in a woodland habitat.