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Animal Habitats (Girl Scout Troop)

Wild animals may seem very different from your pets at home, but at one time, all animals were wild!

  • 1. Find out about wild animals.

    Do one:

    • Observe a pet or tame animal for at least 15 minutes.

      Write at least three things about how it behaves. Then watch a show about an animal related to the one you observed. (If you watched a dog, you might watch a show about wolves.) Which behaviors do the wild and tame animal share? Which are different?

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    • Make a skit or puppet show about the wild animals at a campground or on the trail.

      Include what to do if you encounter them so that both you and the animals stay safe!

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    • List wild animals near your home meeting place, or school.

      Survey the area with an adult and your Junior friends. Then pick three animals you saw and learn more about each one. Why do they live here? Do they interact with humans?

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  • 2. Investigate an animal habitat.

    Do one:

    • Visit a zoo or animal sanctuary.

      When there, choose a particular habitat, like a beach, jungle, or desert. With help from the staff answer these questions for each of five animals that live in that habitat. In what country is the animal naturally found? How does its fur or skin help the animal live in this habitat? How does it stay clean? How does it get around in this habitat? What kind of food can it find in this habitat?

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    • Explore an animal habitat near where you live.

      It could be part of a park, forest, beach, or desert. Figure out what the animals you see have in common. First, make a list of each one’s features. Circle the things the animals share, then, trade ideas about why they have each feature with your friends. Some features you might list: type of fur or skin, paw, tail, coloring, kinds of legs, mouth, and ears.

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    • Make a habitat collage.

      Scientists use habitats to group animals by things they all share. Cut out 15 – 20 pictures of wild animals from old magazines. Group the animal by habitat. Then group them by how they look, how they move, or how they bear their young. Did your groups change? Discuss the groupings with your Junior friends – and make up ways to groups animals.

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  • 3. Create an animal house

    Do one:

    • Check out baby-animal habitats.

      Find out how different animal parents care for their babies and make “homes” for them. You could read about how Emperor penguins hold a chick under a special flap in chilly Antarctic temperatures or how an orangutan mother builds new nests for her and her baby every day. Draw or paint a picture of your favorite animal pair.

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    • Make your own animal house.

      Meerkats live in large underground burrows with several entrances. Beavers make dome-shaped homes called lodges with branches and mud – and they usually have an underwater entrance. Research these animal homes and try sketching your own meerkat burrow or building your own beaver lodge from sticks and mud. Share your “home” with others and explain how and why it works.

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    • Insulate your own “nest.”

      Many animals use insulation to keep their homes cool in hot temperatures or warm in the cold. They may line a next with feathers or burrow into snow or mud to hold in body heat.

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  • 4. Explore endangered habitats

    When the animals no longer have their habitat, they have to adapt to a new place to live. Some animals can’t change, and end up becoming endangered. Answer these questions about one of the endangered animal habitats below. Choose one:

    • The Arctic Circle.

      Why is it in danger? What is happening to the animals? What are people doing to help the habitat? Are the animals able to adapt?

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    • The Gulf of Mexico

      Why is it in danger? What is happening to the animals? What are people doing to help the habitat? Are the animals able to adapt?

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    • The Amazon rain forest

      Why is it in danger? What is happening to the animals? What are people doing to help the habitat? Are the animals able to adapt?

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  • 5. Help protect animal habitats

    Do one:

    • Wildlife awareness party.

      Choose an endangered animal. Dress up like the animal for a party with your Junior friends and tell your story: where you live, why your home is endangered, and how others can help. If there’s an organization that protects your habitat, share its name and mission. It’s a party because it’s positive: The more you know about how to help, the more you can do!

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    • Create a background habitat.

      Get permission from your family to make a habitat in your yard, or ask a school, neighbor or someone who owns land nearby to allow you to create one. Research and then carry out a landscape plan that is best for wildlife in the area. Record the wildlife you attract and their behavior.

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    • Help clean up an animal habitat.

      Many times trash and litter destroy animal habitats and harm animal. With your Girl Scout sisters ask an expert to recommend an area that needs cleaning – woods, stream, beach, city park. Get permission to spend a few hours making it nicer for our animal friends.

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