Year 6 have been given a unique opportunity to become involved in an urban wildlife project organized by Lincoln Park Zoo. Over the coming weeks, the students in Year 6 will be introduced to urban wildlife research at Lincoln Park Zoo and will do a hands-on exploration activity with pelts and skeletons of local mammals.
Students in Year 6 will learn about the mammal population of Illinois and the zoo educator will show them how to use a motion-triggered camera to monitor the mammals that visit the school campus around the clock. They will also use track plates to capture inked track prints of urban wildlife in the area. Under the guidance of the zoo educator, students in Year 6 will identify the mammals in the camera trap photos and inked tracks from the track plate.
Following their research, they will share their knowledge with younger students (Year 3) in a peer teaching setting. Photos and track prints will be hung in the classroom as a reminder of the urban wildlife presence at the school. Students can consider ways to make the school environment more safe and friendly for these animals. In May, the students will visit the zoo and among various activities they will explore the bug population at Nature Boardwalk. Students will leave with a kit to make their own pitfall traps to continue their inquiry either at home or at the school.