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Wolf 101

TARGET AUDIENCE
All Ages

PROGRAM LENGTH
45 – 60 minutes

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
My, what big ears you have! Join us as we look at why wolves have large ears and other fascinating physical and social adaptations to help them survive. Students will be given an opportunity to observe our ambassador wolves and watch short video clips of other wolves utilizing these amazing tools in action. We will explore adaptations wolf prey use to survive in their habitat. Students will work together in teams to design an animal based on specific adaptations. Groups will present their creations to the class. All programs feature real-time observations of International Wolf Center’s ambassador wolves.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
Students will be able to:

  • define adaptation, camouflage, predator and prey
  • explain how specific adaptations aid in wolf survival
  • list three specific physical and social adaptations wolves use
  • compare and contrast wolf and prey adaptations

NATIONAL STANDARDS TO WHICH THIS PROGRAM ALIGNS
NS.K-4.3 LIFE SCIENCE
As a result of activities, all students should develop understanding of:

  • The characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments

NS.5-8.3 LIFE SCIENCE
As a result of their activities, all students should develop understanding:

  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Regulation and behavior
  • Populations and ecosystems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms

NS.K-4.6 and NS.5-8.6 PERSONAL AND SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES
As a result of activities, all students should develop understanding of:

  • Types of resources
  • Changes in environments
  • Populations, resources, and environments

VOCABULARY
adaptation, camouflage, habitat, predator, prey, sketching and teamwork

PROGRAM MATERIALS

  • One piece of paper per group
  • Writing tools (markers, crayons, colored pencils) per group

SUGGESTED PRE-PROGRAM PREPARATION

  • Discussions about adaptations and habitat needs before the program are very helpful but not required.
  • Play the “Wolf Jeopardy” game with the class. See section one of the International Wolf Center’s Gray Wolves, Gray Matter curriculum.
  • Brainstorm or visit www.wolf.org to develop questions for the instructor.

SUGGESTED POST-PROGRAM FOLLOW UP

  • Do the “Nature’s Stockmarket” or “Wolf Turf” lessons with the class. See sections one and two of the International Wolf Center’s Gray Wolves, Gray Matter curriculum.
  • Learn about the close relationship between wolves and moose in Isle Royale National Park by visiting the Web site about the predator and prey research.
  • Allow students to create realistic fictional stories surrounding their animal and how it interacts with prey in the wild.
  • Give students the opportunity to make their 2-D illustration come to life in 3-D form by creating a model of the animal using art supplies such as pop bottles, foam, tissue paper, clay, plaster of paris and play dough.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THIS INTERACTIVE VIDEOCONFERENCE PROGRAM

All videoconference programs combine real-time observations of the Center’s ambassador wolves with lively discussion, interactive activities, and question and answer time with a wolf expert. Students will observe the wolves behaving naturally in their 1.25 acre wooded enclosure, which may mean the wolves are resting or out of view. International Wolf Center staff will do their best to ensure that the students observe the wolves being active, but we cannot make guarantees.

Teachers, please stay in the classroom with the students during the program. When the instructor poses a question to the students, we ask the teacher to call on a student to answer. Students are encouraged to answer as loudly as possible and speak into a microphone. The teacher may still need to repeat the answer so the Center instructor can hear the student’s response.

Please print out a sheet of paper for each student with a different number. Students can hold up their number when they have a question or answer in the program. This makes calling on students clear and easy. Because audio and video quality can vary greatly during a program, please let the instructor know if you didn’t hear or see something or if you can’t understand what the instructor is talking about.

When we do our art project students break into groups. Students will need the room set up in a way that caters to group work. Please have the room set up ahead of time. During the designing process we ask the teacher to help in two ways. First, break students into five groups and pass out art supplies (see list above). Second, be available for questions. The directions are pretty straight forward, but sometimes certain students may need your assistance.

We encourage questions! We will reserve at least 10 minutes at the end of each program for student questions. Teachers may wish to have the students visit www.wolf.org before the program to prepare questions. Questions may relate to the program’s theme or may be about wolves in general.

Thanks for your interest in wolves. We are looking forward to the program!