Animal Ears

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This activity (page 2 of the PDF under SciGirls Activity: Horse Ears) is a full inquiry investigation into animal behavior and communication. Groups of learners will fashion a headband with fake ears, similar in shape to those of the animal they are going to observe. Then, they record observations of the animal’s reactions when a learner, wearing the ears in different positions, brings it a snack. Learners develop categories of behavior to organize and evaluate the results. Safety Note: an adult handler must be present if working with a horse or even a large dog. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV: Horse Ears.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • fabric to make a headband with animal-shaped ears
  • Velcro fasteners
  • scissors for cutting fabric
  • a notebook
  • an appropriate snack for the animal under study
  • access to a horse, dog, or cat


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2006

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 436260