Crane Trunk Activities

An educator visits a classroom
An International Crane Foundation educator shares the Whooping Crane costume and puppet with a classroom.

Our educational Crane Trunks were designed to provide students with resources to understand concepts of crane biology, ecology, conservation, captive breeding and reintroduction.

The curriculum consists of a series of activities that are thoughtfully paired with hands-on learning tools, including a crane skull, flight diverters and a captive-rearing crane costume. These activities are a great tool to facilitate the learning process and are easily adapted for any age. Request a Crane Trunk for your classroom here.

Follow the links below to download PDF versions of the Crane Trunk manual and activities. If you need additional assistance, contact the Conservation Education Department at 608-356-9462 ext. 127.

Note: You will need Adobe Reader to view these files.

Complete Crane Trunk Manual and Manual Appendices: A Closer Look at Whooping Cranes. Our complete Crane Trunk Manual includes information on how to use the Crane Trunk, background information on Whooping Crane conservation, all 13 activities and additional resources for continued learning.

Name That Adaptation. Students will explore structural, physiological and behavioral adaptations of Whooping Cranes.

Wetland Wonders. Students explore the components of a Wisconsin wetland and design a wetland energy pyramid.

Web of Life. Students will understand that ecosystems are made up of interdependent organisms and other components.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Students create a newspaper and poster to educate people in their community about Whooping Cranes and threatened and endangered species.

Have To Have A Habitat. Students role-play a mock town council to explore different issues, attitudes, and consequences associated with developing a natural area.

Migration Headache. Students portray migrating Whooping Cranes traveling between nesting habitats and wintering grounds.

A Journey Through Time. Students explore the history of Whooping Crane restoration efforts and the importance of imprinting by watching a DVD, creating a timeline and writing a fictional story.

Your Field Notes Make History. Students observe and record notes in the field to examine data collection strategies.

Watching For Whoopers In Wisconsin Wetlands. Students make maps of their communities to explore Whooping Crane habitats close to their neighborhoods.

What’s The Plan, Stan? Students create an endangered species management plan for their community.

Working For Whoopers. Students investigate the skills they would need to pursue a career in Whooping Crane restoration.

Cranes And Culture. Students will use visual and language arts to explore how Whooping Cranes are tied into everyday culture.

Whooping Crane Campaign. Students design a campaign to educate people about Whooping Cranes.

Estuaries in the Balance. Students will explore how freshwater availability affects estuarine ecosystems.