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SQUIRRELLY BEHAVIOR! Student Worksheet: Building Background Knowledge

In your classroom, work in small groups to share your knowledge of animal behavior. You will write on the worksheet again after the video and after the outdoor activity. About Smithsonian Behavior Watch Studies What do you know about how scientists conduct behavior watches?

What similarities and differences might there be between Jennifer Mickelberg's work with golden lion tamarins and the behavior watch you will conduct with squirrels?

What are the differences between observing behaviors and documenting behaviors?

What is an activity budget? Did the video give you new ideas for questions you could answer with your behavior watch?

How does Jennifer Mickelberg identify the different individuals in her study group? Can you think of ways you might distinguish between different squirrels?

Student Worksheet

About Your Own Behavior Watch Study What question(s) about squirrels do we want to answer with your behavior watch?

What behaviors should we expect to observe in squirrels?

What behaviors would be best to watch for to answer our question(s)?

Should we expect to see different behaviors (or different rates of occurrence of the behaviors) during different seasons of the year? . . . at different times of the day? Why or why not?

Student Worksheet

STUDENT HANDOUT: COMMON SQUIRREL BEHAVIORS Example of Behavior Definition Eating/drinking When an animal eats or drinks.

Foraging When an animal is searching for food. The animal uses its nose or paws/hands to search for food.

Grooming When an animal cleans itself by licking, scratching, or wiping its body.

Resting When an animal is not changing location. This may include sleeping, sitting, and standing still.

Social activity When an animal is interacting with another animal of the same species, such as playing, chasing, grooming, fighting, and breeding.

Student Handout

SAMPLE CHECKSHEET

STUDENT WORKSHEET: BEHAVIOR WATCH CHECKSHEET

Student name(s): ___Jane and John________________________________ Date: ___April 1__________ Time started: __1:05 p.m._______ Kind of animal: ___Gray squirrel___________________________________ Animal age: juvenile adult

Other identification notes: ___Gray with a little brown on shoulders with a full tail_______________________________________________ Location: ___School courtyard near feeder___________________ Temperature: ___65°F ____ Weather: sunny cloudy rainy

Directions: Watch the same animal for 5 minutes. At the end of each 30 seconds, check the activity that you see the animal doing at that exact moment. You can have only one check mark per trial. You will end up with a total of 10 check marks. Trial time (minutes) :30 1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30 5:00 Total = Percent = 3 30% 3 30% 0 0% 1 10% 1 10% 1 10% 1 10% Calling / barking an alarm Eating or Drinking Foraging Grooming Resting Social Activity Not Visible Anything else

Student Worksheet

STUDENT WORKSHEET: BEHAVIOR WATCH CHECKSHEET

Student name(s): _______________________________________________ Kind of animal: _________________________________________________ Date: ________________ Animal age: Time started: __________________ juvenile adult (check one) Weather: sunny cloudy rainy

Other identification notes: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Location: _______________________________________________ Temperature: ______________

Directions: Watch the same animal for 5 minutes. At the end of each 30 seconds, check the activity that you see the animal doing at that exact moment. You can have only one check mark per trial. You will end up with a total of 10 check marks. Trial time (minutes) :30 1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30 5:00 Total = Percent = Eating or Drinking Foraging Grooming Resting Social Activity Not Visible Anything else

Student Worksheet

Behavior Watch ­ Classroom Master Sheet

Student Names (Sample) Jane & John Time Slot 1:05 p.m. Number of Trials 10 Number of "Eating/Drinking" 3 Number of "Foraging" 3 Number of "Grooming" 0 Number of "Resting" 1 Number of "Social Activity" 1 Number of "Not Visible" 1 Number of "Anything Else" 1

Total = Percent = 100%

Student Worksheet

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