Wildlife scientists study wildlife to learn how they live and interact with the environment. These scientists may focus on one wildlife species or a group of species during their studies. They record observations made with their senses and other tools.
Help your students learn how to record observations with a science notebook.
- See Lesson 1.1 from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies “Field Investigations Guide” for a lesson on using a science notebook (page 8). This model uses the 5E Lesson Plan. Learn more about 5E in Iowa here!
- Here is a teacher’s take on the field notebook for middle school students – from the Teaching Science blog.
Lead your students on a walk in the neighborhood around your school or building or a nearby park to look for wildlife. Encourage students to use their eyes and ears to watch and listen for any signs of animal life (animal movement, calls, tracks, tunnels, droppings, etc.).
Ask students to record their observations.
- Where do you see wild animals?
- What are the animals doing?
- How do the animals react?
- What signs of animals do you see?
If you don’t have time to get your students outside, search for a video like this virtual hike to help set the stage!
Encourage your younger students to pretend they are observing wildlife in different habitats like wildlife scientists do.
- Crawl through a small cave to observe a bat
- Wade through a marsh to get closer to a beaver’s dam
- Hike through woods thick with trees and vines looking for a woodpecker
Use a science notebook to extend these Project WILD Field Investigation Activities!
- Urban Nature Search – Upper Elementary and Middle School
- Insect Inspection – Lower Elementary
- Map that Habitat – Upper Elementary and Middle School
- Famous Zoologists, Biologists, Conservationists
- Missouri Department of Conservation- Conservation Career: Wildlife Biologist
- Scientist Profile: Wildlife Biologists
- All Scientist Profiles from Dragonfly TV
- Wildlife Biologist Profile
- SciGirls Profile: Dr Amelia Merced, Biologist
- Careers: The Wildlife Society – A listing of popular careers working with wildlife.