Saturday Morning Wildlife Watching
Why do kids think wolves are mean? Why do owls have a reputation for being wise? Are bears really that ferocious ? Or are they more like Winnie the Pooh?
Where do kids get their impressions of animals?
Well, a lot of it comes from cartoons. Think about the last Disney movie you watched. Were the animals behaving like their real counterparts? Do lions and tigers really walk on their hind legs? Of course not. Sometimes it’s easy to separate the cartoon characters from the real thing. But sometimes it’s not. So here’s an activity to try next time you’re watching cartoons.
PICK A CHARACTER IN THE CARTOON OR MOVIE . . .
Name of cartoon character
What real animal is the character based on?
Is that real animal wild, tame, or both?
Now think about the behavior of the cartoon animal versus the real animal and compare them. Here’s a list of behaviors to think about. Write yes or no for each animal.
BEHAVIOR OF . . . REAL ANIMAL CARTOON CHARACTER
Can it talk? ______________ ________________________
Can it walk on four legs? ______________ ________________________
Can it walk on two legs? ______________ ________________________
Does it have hands? ______________ ________________________
Can it run fast? ______________ ________________________
Does it wear clothes? ______________ ________________________
Is it smart? ______________ ________________________
Now think about your first impressions of the following animals. Are they really true? For example: When you think of owls, the first thing you might think of is wise. Is this true? If you’re not sure, do a little research on the Division of Wildlife’s Website at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife and look for our Species page for help.
NAME YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION TRUE OR FALSE
Bear __________________________ _____________
Fox __________________________ _____________
Snake __________________________ _____________
Spider __________________________ _____________
Bat _________________________ _____________
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The above activities were adapted from Project WILD © 2001 Council for Environmental Education