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Identifying Wildlife

Name of Corresponding Unit Plan: Interaction with Wildlife

Grade Level: 6-12

Common Core Standards
WS/H.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources.

RS.4. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context.

Content Areas: Science

Recommended Length/Duration: 45-60 minutes

Learning Goals:
Students will be able to identify common wildlife species that live along the shores of Lake Champlain.

Students will use a variety of reference resources to identify wildlife.


  1. Introduce the activities by describing the different classes of wildlife present in a natural ecosystem. Explain that the more familiar naturalists are with the local species, the more likely they are to be able to spot and identify them in the field.
  2. Each worksheet exercise is similar. Review the directions on each worksheet. Identify the identification resources that are available. Point out that many species are widely known, others may be hard to identify.
  3. Have students work independently or in groups to identify each illustration.
  4. When students have had time to finish their identifications, share the results with the class. Clarify and correct any disagreements. Discuss any additional information students have found about each species.

Materials/Resources: Animal Identification Worksheets, field guides, access to internet

Assessments: Informal assessment based on worksheet completion and effort.

Special Considerations: The time needed for these tasks will vary depending upon students' prior familiarity with common wildlife species.

Extensions: As a follow-up activity, have each individual or group gather more in-depth information about one or more of the species presented.