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Buried in Ash

Classroom Activity

To interpret animal track patterns to describe what might have happened at a fictitious forest site.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "What Happened Here?" student handout (HTML)
  1. Organize students into teams. Copy and distribute the "What Happened Here?" student handout to each team.

  2. Challenge your students to interpret the track patterns and describe what might have happened, based on any evidence they can infer from the drawing.

Activity Answer

Students can observe that 5 different kinds of animals left their tracks. A watering hole existed in the top right region.

a. A bear walked across the area.

b. A mountain lion walked over the bear's tracks and headed in the other direction.

c. A rabbit entered the scene, turned around and headed back. Students might conclude that the rabbit was frightened away.

d/e. A bird walked across the area and a fox came along from the other direction. Since the bird tracks and the fox tracks are jumbled together, students might conclude that the bird and fox got into a fight. Since the birds tracks are not shown leaving, students might conclude that the fox ate the bird.

Teacher's Guide
Buried in Ash

Video is not required for this activity