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NatureMapping Activities
Student Guide

5. Name That Animal I

With your assigned group, identify each animal observed at all the stations.

    Observers Instructions:
    Upon sighting, don't take your eyes off of what you are looking at.
    Bring your binoculars up to your face.
    After you focus the binoculars look for key characteristics/markings and tell them to the Note Taker
    Describe in the following order:

    Example for birds:

    What size is it? Chickadee size (length of an adult's little finger), Sparrow size (size of an adults fist), Robin size (size of an adults hand), Crow size (size of the area between an adult's fingers and forearm), Hawk size (length of an adult's tip of the fingers to the elbow)

      chickadee size
      sparrow size
      owl size
      robin size
      crow size

    Then the head:
        Beak size, shape, and color
        Color on head and around eyes
        Eye lines or rings
        Eye color

    Then the body:
        Chest color (plain, striped, spots)
        Wings color and markings
        Legs (length and color)
        Feet (toe shapes, webbing)

    Example of mammals:

    What size is it? Is it the size of a:
        Large dog (Lab)

    What is the color of the fur?
    Does it have a short or long tail?
    Does the tail have fur on it?
    Does it have a long or short snout/nose?

    Example for amphibians and reptiles:

    What is its color?
    Are there eye lines or rings?
    Is the skin smooth or bumpy?

    Note Taker Instructions:
    Observers Name: Record your team's names, teacher, and period - in your data collection form.
    Date: Today's date
    Common Name: Write common name - spelling it correctly
    How sure are you? If unsure, record a "1" if you are not sure if you identified the species correctly or a "2" if you know the species ID is correct, but it "shouldn't be there"
    Description: Describe the key characteristics of the species the best you can as reported by the Observer

    Biologist Instructions:
    Sketch the species being described in your journal (especially for elementary students).
    Use field guide and State Species List for reference to identify the species being described by the Observer and give the common name to the Note Taker.



Biologist - a scientist who studies living organisms.

Common name - the non-scientific name by which a species of plant is known.

Observer - a person who watches what happens but has no active part in it.

Scientific name - the recognized Latin name given to an organism, consisting of a genus and species, according to a taxonomy.

Species - taxonomic group whose members can interbreed.

NatureMapping Activities

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