Life of Canines

Time: 2 Hours (Can Be Shortened)

Grades: 3-12


This exciting program teaches your students all about the five species of canines that you can find in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains! We’ll learn all about the swift fox, gray fox, red fox, coyote, and wolf. Your students will learn all about these awesome animals, their habitats, their food webs, and their adaptations for survival. We will look at pelts, skulls, and even full animal mounts!

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Life of Canines:

Like most of our on-grounds programs, the Life of Canines program includes an engaging educational lesson, hands-on animal biofact interaction, a fun activity, a specially themed scavenger hunt, and time for open exploration of the museum. Read below to learn more about each of these; remember, your program can be shortened to fit any time constraints.


Educational Lesson: 60 Minutes

The Life of Canines program will start by taking a look at the five species of canines that live in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains.  We’ll discuss where they can be found, how big they are, and other general information.  Then, we will take a deeper look at each of the five species!

For each of the canines, we will learn about the habitat(s) that you can find them within.  Some of these species can be found across multiple habitats, while others are more specialized.  Next, we’ll discuss their food webs; taking a look at some of their most common prey.  We’ll also learn about the amazing adaptations that each of these species has.  We'll learn about their adaptations to live in their unique habitat(s) and to find their unique food.  We’ll conclude the program by talking about the social groups of these canines.  Which of them live in packs… and which of them are solitary. 

Foxes, coyotes, and wolves are amazing animals!  Request a program today to learn more about them!  If you want to learn more about wolves in particular, make sure you check out our “Life of Wolves” program, too.


Activity: 20 Minutes

The activity for the Life of Canines program is our scent game. Many canines have a phenomenal sense of smell that they rely on to find prey. Each of your students will be given a small vial with a mystery scent within it. Their goal is to find the one other student who has the same scent as they do. Your students will walk around, smelling the vials of their classmates, until they find their scent partner. This is a very fun game that students love to play! It also reinforces the importance of the sense of smell for canines!


Scavenger Hunt: 20 Minutes

The Life of Canines scavenger hunt will bring your students through the museum, looking for certain items that pertain to what they learned about in their lesson. This will include the use of wolves, coyotes, and foxes in artifacts, artwork, and different biological specimens! The scavenger hunts are completed in small groups or pairs.


Open Museum Exploration: 20 Minutes

While the scavenger hunt allows your students to see a curated selection of items within the museum, the open museum exploration time allows your students to explore whatever they are interested in. The Wyoming State Museum has so many topics (from dinosaurs to mining to pioneers to warfare to animals to Native American culture to national parks and more), that we find it is a great idea to give students free time at the end of the program to explore.

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