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Wild Wolves

Ideas from Teachers

Read "big bad wolf" stories, before watching an edited version of NOVA's "Wild Wolves" program.Discuss what they learned in comparing the stories with the actual lives of wolves.Are wolves bad? Why did people write these stories? Why might our views be different toward wolves today? Why might a rancher's view of wolves be different from that of a person living in a city? Should wolves be feared? Should people help them? What might people do to help them?

Sent in by
Ann Hugart
Visalia Christian Academy

(Gr. 4-7)
This activity could go with NOVA's "Wild Wolves" program. Call your local Humane Society and ask for their humane educator. The educator may have a program on how the dog in your life has the same "language" as the wolf, how the owner is the "alpha" of the pack and how the dog should learn to be the "omega" (last in the pack's lineup).

Also, call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office near you and find out when they will be teaching "Project Wild," an accredited course for classroom teachers about wild animals and their habitats. You get a free book filled with user-friendly, interactive lesson plans.

A simple lesson that shows the problem with limited "carrying capacity" for wolves can be done with carpet squares. Have enough for each student to stand on. Then explain that a farm is claiming some land. Take away a few carpets—the students have to find another carpet to stand on. Keep taking carpets away (highway, housing development, mall, etc.) and watch what happens! They will begin to fight for territory, some will lose and have to move off—some will have to stray into unwanted human-populated territory to survive or else perish.

Sent in by
Janice Mininberg
Women's Humane Society

(Gr. 5-8)
Our students have been studying wolves in Wisconsin. We created a chart showing the physical characteristics, pack size and range, typical food, and the attitudes of people in the state to wolves. Then, as students watched NOVA's "Wild Wolves" program, they filled in the chart comparing the wolves in our state to those in Canada, Montana, India and Europe.These charts were then used for discussion.

Sent in by
P. Solfest
Altoona Middle School

(Gr. 5-8)
Here is an activity that could go with NOVA's "Wild Wolves" program. As part of my wolf unit, we had discussed how wolves mark their territory (with urine) and discussed what a great sense of smell they have. I placed cotton balls in a plastic bag and added drops of various extracts (such as lemon extract, mint, coconut, strawberry, almond, etc.) to different bags. The kids were each given a cotton ball scented with a different smell. Without talking, they were to move about, smelling other people's cotton balls, trying to locate other members of "their pack." Although it about killed them to not talk, they really enjoyed this activity!

Sent in by
D. Hallen
Franklin Middle School
Minneapolis, MN

(Gr. 9-10)
I am going to be reading The Call of the Wild by Jack London with my ESL students. Before introducing the novel, I thought it would be a great idea to show them NOVA's "Wild Wolves" program since the main character in the story is a dog who reverts to his ancestral wolf-like roots to survive in the wild. I believe there is also another program about the Gold Rush that took place in the 1890s. This would also be a wonderful idea since it places the classic in a context for the students.

Sent in by
Linda Kelly
James Madison High School
Brooklyn, NY

I teach an ESL beginners class at the county jail—Hispanic men, ages 20 to 45. We've read a simplified version of Jack London's short story, Wolf and watched a video of Alaska. I'm working on a word search (words about Alaska) and study sheets for viewing "White Fang."

Sent in by
Dottie Shattuck
Central Piedmont Community College

Teacher's Guide
Wild Wolves

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