Scent Tracking

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In this wintertime outdoor activity, learners role play wolves tracking their prey by following scented trails. Many animals use scent to hunt, find mates, and mark territories, both by making their own scents and tracking the scents of others. Learners sniff out a track created using scented water on snow, and learn about animal tracking in the process.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • plaster sprayers or plant misters
  • strips of flagging
  • small paper cups
  • 29-ml (1 oz.) bottles of liquid flavoring extract
  • bottle of yellow food coloring


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Smell
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • smell
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1982