Aug. 16, 2006: Black-footed Ferret

The Mini Page is a syndicated, four-page tabloid written for young children found each Wednesday in the Rocky Mountain News. This issue of The Mini Page is available through the eEdition Archive to registered eEdition subscribers. Click here to learn about subscribing to the eEdition at no cost to you (for Colorado teachers).


1. Draw a picture of the black-footed ferret in the middle of a large piece of paper. Draw three large circles in the space around your picture. In one circle, list the foods ferrets eat. In the second circle, list the different places ferrets live in the United States. In the third circle, list the different activities ferrets like to do. Draw a line from each circle to your ferret.

2. Look in newspaper ads for pictures and words about items that you would use for a pet. Look for items for different kinds of pets. Cut out the pictures and words and use them to make a "Take Care of Your Pet" collage.

3. Conduct a survey among your family members and friends. Ask them to tell you about what their pets do to show they are happy or excited. Do the pets have their own versions of the "ferret happy dance"? Do their pets jump around and wiggle? Make a list of the different actions that pets use to show they are happy.

4. How do each of these elements contribute to the small number of black-footed ferrets: (a) predators, (b) reproduction problems, (c) average life span, and (d) finding food and water for survival?

5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn how scientists try to save an endangered species. You may focus on the black-footed ferret or some other animal. Use these questions to guide your research: How do scientists collect live animals to breed? Where do they keep the animals? How do they feed the animals? What do they do to help the animals learn to survive in the wild? How do they monitor the animals they release so they can keep an accurate count of the animals in the wild?

This week's standards:

  • Students understand the characteristics and life cycles of organisms. (Science: Life Science)
  • Students understand the interactions of animals and their environments. (Science: Life Science)

(standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

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