## Who made these? (part 2)

On the path of the great vehicle mystery, we encountered even more tracks. Some, we identified quickly as deer.

Others we weren’t quite sure of.

We are going to investigate these prints further in the following weeks.

One child remarked, “Wow! This animal must have a lot of legs to have so many different foot prints!”

We found some very strange tracks in the field this week. We wondered if they came from a tractor. We decided to follow them, looking for more clues.

Oddly enough, they split off into two different directions . The young detectives felt the path on the left held the most promise.

At the top of the hill we found a faculty parking lot. At first the children suspected a small compact. However they realized it was much too clean looking. Then someone noticed the wheel wells on this truck. A clue! Could this be the culprit?

It looks like the tires are a match! We found our answer. Now we just have to figure out why it was driving around in the grass.

In a later post we’ll show you some of the other tracks we found while following these man made ones.

## Tracks Everywhere!

While hiking through the woods with Mr. Cooper the other day, the children came across some unknown tracks in the mud. With Mr. Cooper’s help, they deduced that they must have been made by wild turkeys. Returning to the classroom, we made a list of other kinds of tracks we might be able to find on our campus. These discussions prompted at least a week’s worth of group and individual activities.

Using play dough and our collection of animal models, the children explored the variety of tracks that animals can make. Of course, once we started making animal tracks, cars, trucks, blocks, and cooking tools made tracks as well. We also discussed the idea that our plastic models may or may not be entirely accurate when making tracks.

Over in the math area, we examined scale copies of wild animal prints. The children used Unifix cubes to measure six different tracks. They used one-to-one correspondence when counting, non-standard units of measure when finding the length, and numeral recognition as they wrote the length found.

Once they completed the measuring portion of the project, the children practiced motor planning and understanding spacial relationships as they decided how to arrange their footprints so that all of them fit on their display.

Our final project invited the class to practice their skills as an illustrator. We created a book called, “Who was here?”. Each page had a different foot print and text matching the animal track (“A cat was here.”) with lots of white space for their animal portrait. While reading, we practiced using our “reading finger” to point at each word as we read and scanning  from the left to the right. We also used the track images and beginning letter sounds to identify unknown words.