Notes for children, parents and educators
guide to pronunciation
All the animals in Whose Feet are These? have both Maori and English names, although in some cases, such as tuatara, the Maori name is the only common name. Often, of course, there is more than one Maori name as well as more than one English name, so I had to choose what appeared to be the most common. Some of the names might be less familiar to some readers. A guide to pronunciation of Maori can be found on the Maori Language Commission website: tetaurawhiri.govt.nz/learning-maori/whakahuatanga-pronunciation
more about animals and their feet
- One resource that is widely referred to is What Made these Tracks by Warren Agnew. This is particularly useful if you plan to have a go at creating tracking tunnels (see activities below): http://www.rotokare.org.nz/uploaded_images/Education/Identifying-animal-tracks.pdf and it has also been adapted as a game at http://www.incrediblescience.co.nz/eco-memory/animal-footprints/
- Tracks and other images can also be found at http://www.pestdetective.org.nz/clues/footprints-and-tracks/
All the animals in Whose Feet are These? are native to New Zealand.
You can find out more about them on the following websites:
- the Department of Conservation website http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/
- a child-friendly site – Kiwi Conservation Club http://www.kcc.org.nz
- specific information about New Zealand birds – NZ Birds Online http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz
Parents and educators may find Science Learn a useful resource as it provides both information and educational activities http://sciencelearn.org.nz, look for topics and concepts such as ‘animal behaviour’ and ’adaptation’.
Many New Zealand animals are also included in the explore & discover series of books for children by author Gillian Candler.
suggestions for activities
Here are some fun and educational activities to follow up reading the book. Links to examples of these and other activities can be found on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/gilliancandler/wildlife-feet-and-claws/
Using the book(s)
- After reading the book with children, they can explore the pictures in the book to work out how many feet each animal has.
- Only one animal in the book is a mammal – compare mammal feet, your own, a pet or farm animal to the other feet in the book.
- Use Whose Beak is This? alongside Whose Feet are These? to look closer at other animal functions e.g. which animals in Whose Feet are These? have beaks, how would you describe them? What do you think they eat? Or look at the feet of the animals in Whose Beak is This? – what kind of feet have they got? How do they use them?
- Collect more pictures of animal feet and use them for a Whose Feet? guessing game or to categorise e.g. number of feet, number of toes or claws, type of feet.
- Make tracking tunnels to find out what lives in your garden http://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/conservation-activities/exploring-nature-with-children-booklet/in-your-own-backyard/make-your-own-tracking-tunnel/
- Use overseas resources that describe different types of birds’ feet to categorise New Zealand native birds e.g. http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Zoo_p050.shtml?from=Blog#background or as models for games that focus on animal tracks http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/crafts/animal-tracks-twister-game.aspx
- Use Nature Watch to help you identify animals from their footprints by submitting photos of prints http://naturewatch.org.nz/
- Make feet as a craft activity e.g. making cardboard ‘feet’ that look like different animals to slip over their own feet and make footprints.
- Make plaster casts of footprints children find in nature, or their own and those of pets.
Use a 3D printer to make an animal foot or leg (see examples on Pinterest links where an animal has had a leg made this way to replace a lost one!)
I love exploring and discovering nature here in New Zealand. The more I observe nature, the more interesting things I see, such as the amazing way geckos can hold on to smooth surfaces or even walk upside down. It’s also fun trying to guess which animals make the footprints that I see when I’m walking along the beach or on a muddy tramping track. So when kids and their parents told us how much they love Whose Beak is This?, it wasn’t hard to come up with this sequel. Animals’ feet are so varied – different colours, shapes and even functions.
You can read more about my experiences on my blog explorediscovernature.blogspot.co.nz
Fraser is an internationally recognised artist/illustrator whose work ranges from large illustrative paintings to quirky children’s books that try to amuse and entertain. Fraser wishes to portray characters and environments that allow for imagination and diversity. His work has featured in magazines, books and ad campaigns, both nationally and internationally, and he regularly exhibits his paintings at the Flagstaff Gallery in Devonport, many of which now adorn walls in Auckland, Melbourne, Finland, Malta and London. Fraser lives in Auckland with his wife Loisi and their son Antonio. They like to spend their time between Tonga, New Zealand and Spain.
If you want to see some of his other pictures you can visit his site: www.redshark.co.nz