What is that deer doing?

I introduce this project by having students identify images posted by SnapShot Wisconsin in Zooinverse.  This is an example of Citizen Science with the DNR using the public to identify animals, their numbers with some questions on animal behavior.   There is a tutorial for how to use the site as well as a list of comparison images to aid identification.  Here is a link to how the information is being used.  The DNR is in the process of writing lesson plans using images from trail cameras around the state.  They piloted a lesson on making observations the spring of 2018.  Check the DNR website to see when they will publish this activity.


The purpose of this project is to have students use the skills of observation, questioning and analysis.

Time line

Day 1: What question do you have?

Students look through the images and jot down questions they might have about deer behavior.  Ex. “Do deer travel alone or in a group?”  “Are deer more active in the day or at night?”  They then have to describe the type of data they will collect to refine this question into a testable hypothesis.  I do check this portion of the worksheet to make sure the data are quantifiable-  Will they be documenting the total number of deer or just checking 1 or more on their data sheet?  What will be considered “day” or “night”

 Day 2-3:  Data Collection

I provide students with a template data spreadsheet.  They add additional columns for their results


Day 4: Analysis

This can be as simple as creating a data table of their results.


Day 5:  Presentation

I create a class presentation in Google Slides with one card for each student/group.  These are the elements that had to be included in their Google Slide presentation

 A.  Initial Question

·      What is your question?

·      What observations led to this question?

·      What data will you be collecting?  Include what you will be looking for in the photographs of white tailed deer and the type of quantitative and qualitative observations you will be recording.

B.  Data Analysis

·      Data analysis included a written summary of what was found

·      Data analysis included a table with column and rows clearly identified

 C.  Presentation

·      Text on the slides was clear and easy to read

·      Images complemented the text


Student Handouts





More images will be added to the folder through the year.  The goal is to have a year's worth of images so students can follow their initial question and data analysis with writing a hypothesis that they test looking across all seasons.



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