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Animal Behavior Teacher Resources
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How does one determine what influences animal behavior; Is it nature or nurture? After a short reading explaining different types of conditioning and other learned behaviors, scholars examine six scenarios to determine whether the behavior described is innate or learned, then go on to explain more about the behavior. It may work well to have to have kids discuss each of the scenarios with partners in order to ensure they are all fully understanding the concepts.
Middle schoolers observe animal behaviors and record their observations. In this animal behavior lesson students record animal behaviors at specific intervals of time using an ethogram. Middle schoolers may first practice an ethogram using a classmate. Students reflect on the animal behaviors they have observed.
Students choose their favorite animal and create a diary entry as if they were that animal. They research the animal's behaviors, diet, and habitat. In the diary entry they incorporate this information to provide clues to the identity of the animal for readers to try and guess.
Students examine animal behaviors. In this field study lesson plan, students review animal behaviors that help them survive and reproduce. They observe the behavior of an animal and report their findings. The lesson plan is created for Alaskan wildlife but can easily be adapted for any region.
Students examine the negative consequences of crowding as it relates to people and animals. They examine and discuss pictures of animals and people, conduct Internet research on animal behaviors in crowded situations, and in small groups create a slideshow presentation outlining the dangers of crowding to people and animals.
Third graders study seasonal animal behavior. For this animal behavior lesson, 3rd graders review terms associated with animal classification. Students then conduct an invertebrate field study to investigate animal behavior in spring. Students use a thermometer and magnifier to complete their observation as well as complete the classification chart for the organisms.
Can you train a worm? Biology buffs will have a blast trying! Using planaria or earthworms, they introduce a certain stimulus repeatedly until the desired response happens more quickly. They also explore the response of their own eyes to light and their eye-hand coordination. All of these activities enhance the learning of animal response to environmental stimuli.
Students observe a planaria without a microscope and with a stereoscopic microscope. They draw the planaria and describe its motion and eating habits. Students research planarias various body systems and behavior. They design an experiment to explore one aspect of the planaria systems or behavior.