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4-H Science Blast Activities: Track Traps & Habitats


May 7, 2020 - Author:

Educational Elements

Key Concept:

Identifying tracks, habitats and animal adaptations


Participants will discuss animals’ habitats and make and place “track traps” to capture some animal tracks for identification. Further discussion follows about how animals adapt to living in specific habitats.

Age Level:

Ages 8 to 12

Life Skills:

Problem solving, critical thinking, learning to learn

Success Indicators:

After completing this activity, participants will be able to: 

  • Identify one to two common animal tracks. 
  • Identify habitats of common Michigan animals. 
  • Name some adaptations that an animal has. 
  • Explain how adaptations help an animal to survive. 
  • Explain the importance of animal habitats and adaptations to humans.

Materials & Methods:

Preparation Time: 15–20 minutes

Lesson Time: Two 60-minute sessions

Space: Indoors and outdoors


  • Field guides for animal tracks
  • Soft sand (about 5 gallons)
  • Containers for sand (one for each participant)
  • Bait or lure (birdseed, apples, marshmallow, sardines or similar items)
  • Clip boards, paper and pencils
  • Camera or phone for taking pictures
  • Trail camera (optional)

Background Information:

Youth can learn many things from tracking animals such as their size, behavior and habitat. Identifying animal adaptations provides clues to what they eat, how they move and where they live. This information can be used to manage wildlife for population, preferred habitat, disease and human conflicts.


  • Adaptation – The physical attributes that enable an organism to live where it does.
  • Domestic – Trained or adapted to living with humans.
  • Feral – Living wild, not domesticated.
  • Habitat – The place or environment in which an animal or plant normally lives, which includes


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