ABOUT THE COUGAR
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The Cougar Fund is 501(c)3 non-profit
P.O. Box 122
Jackson, WY 83001
Photography & Video by Thomas D. Mangelsen and Wild Nature Media.
© 2022 The Cougar Fund. All rights reserved.
This program is designed to be easy to facilitate and adaptable to a variety of settings, including classrooms, after-school programs, summer camps, learning clubs, and boy scouts/girl scouts groups.
Discover: Predators is a new, engaging education program aimed at reaching elementary-aged kids in and out of the classroom. It consists of six fun, activity-based units that explore the amazing life and adaptations of predators, and how we can conserve them. Each unit builds on the knowledge and skills learned in the previous one, however, the activities contained in each unit are flexible enough to stand on their own if you are time-constrained.
COUGARS ARE CATS!
This is a teacher or parent led lesson for any age and any number of students but best suited for 3rd- 6th grade. If done with younger kids, it will require the teacher to do research with the students.
Students will learn about the similarities and differences between cats of all sizes, wild and domestic. This will require some research on the student’s part, therefore it can be done as a multi day lesson. Vocabulary in this lesson includes: retractable claws, protract, nocturnal, crepuscular, diurnal, adaptation, physical and personality traits, terrestrial, obligate carnivores, ambush, stalk, rotational inertia. A teacher’s cheat sheet is provided at the end of the lesson.
This teacher-led activity can be modified for any age group, but is most suitable for upper elementary. You will need at least 12 children to play.
Students will play a game where they represent cougars and habitat components to demonstrate population fluctuations. They will be able to identify food, water, shelter, and space as the 4 components of habitat. They will also understand the limiting factors of a given habitat and recognize that some fluctuations in wildlife populations are normal. Vocabulary includes limiting factors, carrying capacity, and habitat. This activity is adapted from Project WILD’s, Oh Deer!
Tracks! is a self led activity for 2nd – 5th grade students.
Students will learn about animal tracks, what you can learn about the animal that made the track, and how to tell the difference between cougar and wolf tracks. They will also identify some iconic western wildlife using pictures and descriptions of tracks. Vocabulary includes: tracks, retractable claws, lobes.
This activity is suitable for students in 1st – 4th grade.
Students will learn about and be able to identify the different wildlife walking patterns, which can be very useful when identifying tracks. They will participate in a relay game to demonstrate these patterns. Vocabulary includes: gait, perfect walker, waddler, bounder, hopper.
This craft is suitable for preschool- 2nd grade students.
Kids will know how to tell grizzly and black bears apart and be able to recognize these vocabulary words: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, dished face, omnivore, hibernate, bounty. They will cut, tear out, and assemble a paper plate bear. This craft is adapted from the ABCs of Literacy.
This craft is suitable for kindergarten – 3rd grade students. Adults may need to help the little ones with cutting.
Students will learn about the life history of the mountain lion including these vocabulary words: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, bounty, obligate carnivore, ungulate, retractable claws. They will also create their own cougar with moveable legs! They can try and make it look realistic using browns and yellows or they can use their imagination and use any colors they would like. This craft comes from the website Learn, Create, Love.
This craft is suitable for kindergarten- 3rd grade students. Adults may need to help the little ones with cutting.
Kids will learn about the life history and social behavior of the gray wolf, including these vocabulary words: extinction, reintroduce, packs, canid, opportunistic hunter, ungulate. They will color, cut out and assemble a wolf puppet. This activity is adapted from Tikkido.