Odd One Out

Making tracks

Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 9 – 11

Science topics:

Living things and their habitats

Sometimes the only evidence that certain animals are in an environment is the traces that they leave behind such as scat (poo), and footprints.

Put your class’ observational skills to the test as they look to see what is the same and what is different about these tracks and the animals that left them.

Run the activity

1. Show the three images above and ask everyone to come up with as many similarities and differences as they can. If they get stuck, prompt them to think about:

  • appearance
  • what they do
  • where they might be found

2. Then, everyone needs to decide which one is the odd one out and why. Encourage a reason for every answer and there is no wrong answer!

Background science

The three animals that have left tracks in the snow are birds, a deer and a dog. 

Naturalists working in the field need to be able to recognise different animal tracks so that they can work out which animals are living in a particular habitat.  This is especially important for some animals that are rarely seen, such as nocturnal animals.

Take it further

Another sign that animals leave behind is their scat (or poo). Your class may enjoy this Odd One Out activity where they think about the differences between the poo of different animals.

You can find out more about identifying animals by using their tracks from the Wildlife Trust and also from the RSPB