WolfQuest developed by
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Classroom Activities
Be a Wolf Expert
Deer Me!
Deer: Predation or Starvation
Find Your Pack
Predator - Prey Tag
Survival is Just a Roll Away
Telemetry
The Return of Gray Wolves to Yellowstone National Park: Right or Wrong?
Where in the World is the Wolf?
Why Not "The Good, Sweet Wolf"?
Wolf Adaptations
Wolf Adaptations PowerPoint
Wolf Limiting Factors
Wolf Postures
Wolf Recovery in North America
Wolf Scientists
Wolf Survival
Wolf Turf
Wolves and Farming
Yellowstone Food Web


Be a Wolf Expert
Students will become wolf experts though research and sharing results using the jigsaw method of learning.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Research a wolf topic.
  2. Teach a wolf topic to another group of students.
  3. Create a concept map about their knowledge of wolves.

Deer Me!
In this activity, students will simulate the interactions between a predator population of gray wolves and a prey population of deer in a forest. After collecting the data, the students will plot the data and then extend the graph to predict the populations for several more generations. Before playing, review the definitions for food chain, population, predator, and prey.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Identify predator/prey relationships and how they co-exist in nature.
  2. Examine the changes that populations undergo to keep a balance in the ecosystem.
  3. Create a graph illustrating population changes in a predator/prey relationship.

Deer: Predation or Starvation
An island population of deer has no predatorsand the island is too remote for hunters. Is it better to let nature take its course with the deer population or should predators (wolves) be introduced onto the island?

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Identify predator/prey relationships and how they may or may not impact one another.
  2. Examine the changes that populations undergo to keep a balance in the ecosystem.
  3. Examine changes in populations due to human intervention.
  4. Create a graph illustrating population changes in a predator/prey relationship.

Find Your Pack
This activity introduces students to wolf behavior and communication.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Become familiar with how wolves use scent to identify member of their pack.
  2. Be aware of how habitat loss can effect wolf populations.

Predator - Prey Tag
The population of a species in an area is dependant upon the limiting factors of the ecosystem. One such factor is the population or availability of food. The relationship of predator populations and prey populations is very cyclical.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Understand that prey population will change and thus affect the predators population and visa versa.
  2. Create a graph modeling the predator-prey population cycle.

Survival is Just a Roll Away
In this simulation, students will raise a pack of wolves under 2 different conditions; without human interference and with human interference. Students will use dice to determine what happens to the wolf pack over time.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Recognize that limiting factors — including predator/prey relationships affect wildlife populations.
  2. Recognize that some fluctuations in wildlife populations are natural as ecological systems undergo constant change.
  3. Understand how people can influence an ecosystem.

Telemetry
This is a high interest activity that allows a class to use telemetry data to track real wolves in Superior National Forest in Minnesota. Telemetry data is collected weekly, if possible. Students can select their own wolf, read background information on their wolf, and plot its movement on a map. This is a project that can run all year or for several months as students keep an eye on "their" wolf.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Use telemetry data to map the location of a wolf over time.
  2. Predict and determine the wolf's territory.

The Return of Gray Wolves to Yellowstone National Park: Right or Wrong?
Students will use the internet to explore relationships between habitats and species (specifically, the gray wolf and other species at Yellowstone National Park). Additionally, students will explore the effect of physical and human actions on living things and their environment. This lesson is a modification of a lesson from Science NetLinks.

After this activity, the student will:
  1. Explain the relationships between species that live in Yellowstone National Park.
  2. Identify conflicts that arise between humans and wolves living in the same environment.
  3. Use inquiry skills to draw their own conclusions regarding the controversy of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park.

Where in the World is the Wolf?
Students will use an interactive map to determine that wolves are found over much of the world.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Predict where wolves are found in the world.
  2. Collect data to determine the number and species that live in various parts of the world.
  3. Make predictions about trends/fate of the wolf worldwide.

Why Not "The Good, Sweet Wolf"?
There are many words and phrases in the English language that make negative references to wolves. Childhood stories also portray wolves as "the bad guy", teaching children from an early age that wolves are dangerous. This lesson looks at the villain in the story of "The Three Little Pigs" as well as at a list of descriptive ways we attribute negative characteristics to wolves and how this symbolism can color how we think of wolves. Students write their own short story showing the wolf as "the good guy". Finally, students read a variety of wolf stories from different cultures and analyze how each viewed the wolf.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Analyze phrases/idioms with the word "wolf" in them.
  2. Describe the characterization of the "Big, Bad Wolf".
  3. Write a short story showing the wolf as "the good guy".
  4. Analyze a number of wolf stories to determine how various cultures viewed wolves and why they may have taken this view.

Wolf Adaptations
Students will create a new wolf that can survive in a fictional habitat.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Identify the importance of adaptations.
  2. Identify adaptations and the importance to the organism's survival.

Wolf Adaptations PowerPoint
Students will create a PowerPoint presentation focusing upon wolves and their adaptations for survival.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of limiting factors.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge about wolf habitat.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of beneficial adaptations.

Wolf Limiting Factors
Students will simulate a wolf and its habitat and observe what happens when the limiting factors change over time.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Identify and describe the essential components of habitats.
  2. Define the limiting factors that affect wolves.
  3. Recognize that fluctuations in wildlife populations are a natural part of the ecosystem.

Wolf Postures
This activity introduces students to wolf body postures/communication and animal observation.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Use observation skills successfully.
  2. Identify and interpret wolf body postures.

Wolf Recovery in North America
Two articles from the magazine Time For Kids introduce students to the Wolf restoration project as well as its successes and challenges.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Explain how and why the wolf population was almost exterminated.
  2. Understand the impact on an environment when the top predator (wolf) is removed from an ecosystem.
  3. Compare human viewpoints of wolf reintroduction.

Wolf Scientists
In this activity, the student will research a wolf scientist and present their information on a poster.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Research a wolf scientist.
  2. Learn how this person contributed to the understanding of wolves.
  3. Create a display illustrating what was learned about the scientist.

Wolf Survival
In this simulation, some students will become wolves and the other students will be the prey of the wolf. The goal of the simulation is to have the wolves work together to survive.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Understand predator/prey relationships.
  2. Define a major component of a wolf's habitat.
  3. Identify a limiting factor.

Wolf Turf
Students collect prey and den cards to simulate wolves searching for food and shelter. They will discover how territory size, as well as food availability, can be limiting factors for a population.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Predict how food availability affects wolf populations.
  2. Analyze the relationship between pack size and habitat.
  3. Calculate their wolf pack's food needs and food acquisition.

Wolves and Farming
The purpose of this activity is for students to understand the potential problems of raising livestock, and the role of wolves in livestock depredation.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Understand that wolf predation on livestock is an issue with effects on both livestock owners and wolves.
  2. Evaluate livestock management strategies.
  3. See how their actions affect wildlife.
  4. List some problems of raising livestock near predators.

Yellowstone Food Web
The students will create a food web diagram. This lesson takes about one or two 80 minute classes to teach the concept and work time on making the assignment.

At the end of this activity, the student will:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of energy flow in an ecosystem.
  2. Know that all species depend upon the other for survival.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of terms; omnivores, carnivores, herbivores, and producers.


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