Animal tracks matching game
This is a fantastic puzzle-style game that can be used for all ages, from kids to teenagers and adults. It is also great for teaching ESL learners about animals in an enjoyable way. For kids, animals are downright captivating and the animal tracks matching game will help stir their interest in nature and the environment.
The animal tracks matching game features 32 different beasts and their footprints. There are picture cards of each animal, along with footprint cards that are both labelled and unlabelled.
The animals included are the frog, elephant, rabbit, crocodile, bear, dog, chicken, lion, horse, pig, rhino, monkey, penguin, mouse, eagle, duck, sheep, kangaroo, hedgehog, squirrel, gecko, camel, cow, pigeon, fox, wolf, mole, zebra, springbok, badger, cat, and raccoon.
How to play the animal tracks matching game
This activity is delightfully simple. Just print out the sheets, cut out the cards, shuffle them and get players to match them correctly. By printing just a few, or the entire set of animals and their footprints, you can make the game as easy or difficult as you like.
The entire set of the 32 animals and their tracks cards makes for quite a challenge as some of the creatures have very similar footprints.
Here are a few more ideas on how you can use the cards –
- Arrange your students into groups and make it a team or pair work activity. Once in teams, you can make it a race to see who finishes first. You can also just set a time limit and see which team has the most correct matches once the allotted time is up.
- Turn sets of cards upside down and use them to play a memory game. By turning over 2 cards at a time students must try to find matching pairs. If the 2 overturned cards don’t match, they are turned back over. If 2 matching cards are turned over, the player gets to keep them and scores a point.
- Ask students what makes each footprint. For example, is it a hoof, claw, foot, hand, or paw? This makes for a great opportunity to learn how to describe animals.
- Use the cards as a game of charades. Get a student to pick a card randomly and see if they can act like the animal walking, hopping or jumping around the room.
A wonderful follow-up activity is to get students to try to recreate these animal tracks.
Provide students with a small box or tray of sand/soil and see if they can replicate each animal’s footprint. They can draw the footprints in the chosen medium with their fingers or by using a small stick.
Once a track is completed they can ask other members of the class what they think it is.
Animal tracks matching game answers
The free printables below can be used in several ways. You can print them out to use as answer keys to check your student’s or players’ answers.
For younger students, you can use the cards for matching instead of the animal tracks provided above. Because each set of animal footprints have the animal’s name on them, it will be much easier for young learners and will also help with reading and spelling. You can also add the animal picture cards so that there are 3 cards to match for each of the animals.
For very young children you can use the both the footprints above and below for shape matching or shadow matching. This helps learners develop skills to recognise shapes and develop their visual discrimination.
There are some footprint matching worksheets here at ESL Vault that you can use as a great warmer or cooler activity around this game.
These activities will also help learners remember any new animal vocabulary.