Skip to content

Unit #7 – Backyard Naturalist

Unpacking 7: Backyard Naturalist (video)

Topics Covered in this Unit –

  1. Organisms of Tennessee
  2. Using Taxonomic Keys
  3. Identifying Animal Signs (Scats, Tracks and Bird Songs)
  4. Biomechanics
  5. The Science of Sound

***Purchase this Unit (click here).

Exercise 1A Matching Animal Tracks (video)

This video describes an activity appropriate for grades K – 1. Students will be able to: (1) distinguish between various animal footprints (tracks), and (2) better understand why scientists study animal footprints (tracks). Answering such questions as, “How long has a track been there?”, “How big was the animal that made that track?”, ” How fast was the animal moving?”, and “Where is that animal’s home?”

Exercise 1C Key Those Tracks (video)

This video describes an activity appropriate for grades 3 -12. Students will be able to: (1) define the term dichotomous key, (2) use a dichotomous key to identify an unknown track, and (3) make decisions based on similarities and differences of a track’s characteristics to determine the identity of an unidentified organism.

Printable Resources

Below are links to all documentation for this thematic unit.  Presentations are available in PowerPoint format, as well as PDFs for those wishing to print transparencies for overhead projectors.  Teachers may wish to review unit workbooks for more in-depth information before using the supplied presentations.

Curriculum Standard

Workbooks with Exercises


Additional Readings and Supplementary Files

Scientific Journal Articles (PDF)

Supplementary Files

NOTE: You will need to use WinZip or other decompression software to extract these files.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.