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WILDLIFE

Frogs croak, eagles soar, monkeys jump, skunks smell – are you fascinated with wild animals and their behavior? Many people enjoy the pastime of watching wildlife in their natural habitat. Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? Do you like to feed and photograph wildlife? Have you ever been on a safari or wilderness vacation? These activities are designed to help your group share some memories of their favorite wildlife sightings.

  • Ask participants to describe the terms wildlife and animal kingdom. Reminisce about favorite places to observe animals in the wild (e.g., national parks, wildlife refuge, mountains, game preserve, desert, jungle, lakes). Ask: What is your favorite animal? Tell us about its behavior. Did you ever encounter a wild animal while camping or hiking? What kinds of wildlife have you seen in your own backyard?
  • Listen to a recording of the song “Talk to the Animals,” from the 1967 musical Dr. Dolittle. (The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.)
  • Reminisce about camping trips. Ask about sleeping in tents on a sleeping bag; carrying drinking water; gathering firewood; starting and cooking over a campfire; encounters with wildlife like skunks, deer, snakes, toads.
  • Plan an intergenerational safari-theme party. Suggestions: animal costumes, stuffed animals, khaki shirts, camouflage bandannas, binoculars, safari hats, green vines, palms, animal crackers, animal charades, scavenger hunt, animal story books.
  • Invite local nature photographers and wildlife artists to exhibit their artwork.
  • Enjoy episodes from Mutual of Omaha’s TV show, Wild Kingdom, with host Marlin Perkins. The show aired on NBC, beginning in 1963. (Look for programs to purchase on the internet.)
  • Invite a park ranger to talk about local wildlife and the conservation of rare and endangered species.
  • Watch the touching 1966 animal movie Born Free, about an African game warden and his wife who take in three lion cubs.
  • Read some nature essays/poetry from Henry David Thoreau (Walden) or Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Name some fictional tigers (or another wild animal). Example: Tony the Tiger in Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Esso’s “Tiger in Your Tank,” Detroit Tigers mascot.
  • Listen to a recording of wild animal or jungle sounds and ask participants to identify the sounds. For fun, ask the men for some animal call imitations.
  • Make some simple crafts, like a clothespin butterfly, yarn octopus, bird plant pick, clay pot turkey, or reindeer ornament.
  • Display wildlife magazines, like National Geographic or National Wildlife magazine, or magazines published by state wildlife agencies.
  • Munch on some jungle snacks – tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapple, mango – and sip on tropical fruit punch.
  • Explore the meaning of animal idioms, such as go ape, monkey business, sly as a fox, cry wolf, rat race, eager beaver, and quiet as a mouse.

ANIMAL TRIVIA QUIZ

  1. What is the name of a baby elephant? A calf
  2. Where is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park located? Orlando, Florida
  3. Who wrote The Jungle Book? Rudyard Kipling
  4. What does a zoologist study? Animals
  5. Wildlife artist John James Audubon is known for painting what type of wildlife? Birds
  6. A group of lions is known as a what? Pride
  7. Which biblical character put animals on an ark in anticipation of a great flood? Noah
  8. In the TV series Gentle Ben, what type of animal is Ben? Black bear
  9. In what country is the Amazon rainforest located? Brazil
  10. Which wild bird is on the Great Seal of the United States of America? Bald eagle

“WILDLIFE” written by Sue Hansen. © 2009 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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