I used this activity during the first week of school as a sort of "ice breaker" to put my students at ease about the upcoming year.
We read and discuss excerpts from the book "Crinkleroot's Book of Animal Tracking" by Jim Arnosky. It has great pictures of animal tracks.
Next, we discuss situations in which we make tracks. We talk about how shoes make tracks in dirt, mud, snow, etc. Eventually, we discuss
making tracks with our bare feet. This, of course, leads to the actual activity.
In pairs, the students come to the paint station with one bare foot. It is advisable that you have someone else in the room with you to
either help with the painting or crowd control with the rest of the class. I have the other students working on a coloring page or reading
a book while waiting. I only pick the quietest students to come up and paint. At the painting station, the student will put his/her foot in
the paint color of their choice, then press it onto the paper. Immediately, the student will put their foot into soapy water for washing.
Towels should be available also. Then, with a marker, the student will write their name next to their footprint. They will then return to
The next day, I have the students cut out their "tracks" and name. As they finish, I put them up on a bulletin board. When finished, we discuss
the tracks and compare them to the animal tracks in the book (similarities and differences).
This is a high-excitement activity, as you can probably imagine. Adult help is recommended. Parents love to come in and help--just ask. In this
way, you can also get to know some of the parents right away and hopefully start off on the right foot!