Otter Spotter Workshop

One of the main goals of Otter Spotter is to provide resources for teachers and zoo educators to use in their classrooms.  Lesson plans for multiple ages covering math, science, and even a little ELA are available in the Teacher Resources section of the site.  Many of these resources are based on New York State Learning Standards.

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be able to test out some of these lesson plans at the Seneca Park Zoo.  Former participants in ZooCamp were invited to a three hour workshop at the Zoo to learn all about otters!  Participants (or as we liked to call each other…Otter Spotters) were also asked to take online pre and post tests to see if their otter knowledge increased after participation in the workshop.  We packed a lot into three hours!  Below are a few photos of some of our adventures throughout the day.

We predicted what a North American river otter’s habitat would look like and what we might find there…

We went to see the otter exhibit and compared the zoo’s habitat for North American river otters to what we predicted in the classroom…

Just for fun we met a few animals who had similar adaptations to otters.  We talked about duck’s webbed feet and water repellent feathers!  Remind you of any other wetland animal???

The Otter Spotters also participated in some fun interactive activities to explore what it would be like to have webbed feet like a North American river otter or finger-like toes similar to a cape clawless otter.  The whole workshop was full of fun and learning with a terrific group of Otter Spotters!  All of the results are not yet in from post-tests but preliminary results show that the participants knew more about otters after the workshop than before.  It was an otterly wonderful day!

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