Where Are the Night Animals?
A Web Quest
Crystal Porter & Stephanie Sansom
Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits
You have just spent a relaxing part of class reading Where are the Night Animals? by Mary Ann Fraser. "What," you may be wondering, "does this have to do with math?" This is where you discover what can be done with the book and math.
You will use the internet to look up and collect more information about nocturnal animals. Those animals are coyote, skunk, opossum, raccoon, green tree frog, brown bat, barn owl, and harvest mouse. Some of the information will be just for you to know and some will be used to solve a few problems for me.
1. Read through all the steps before doing anything.
2. Use the online sources under the "Sources" button to do a little research and gather the information needed to do your activities and questions.
3. For any work that needs to be done on paper, use the graph paper located beside the computer.
4. Do three of these activities:
a. Research and find the information needed on all the animals that would allow you to create a bar graph of the animal’s maximum average age.
b. Research and find the information needed on all the animals to create a bar graph of the animals maximum weight (in pounds).
c. One site tells us that an opossum has a maximum living range of 250 acres. If only one opossum lived in that area, how many would live in Tennessee? (Hint: First, convert the acres into miles.)
d. Select another animal (not a traditional pet); do an internet search for facts and, based on those facts, create two math problems. You need to provide me the site you used and the answers for your problems.
5. Answer these two questions:
a. Nocturnal animals are out mostly at night. Let’s say night is always 8 hours. What is the ratio of outside hours to inside hours for a year?
b. Find how fast one of the animals can run and/or fly. If it immediately leaves its home at the start of the night, and flies as far as it can, and still be able to be home at the end of eight hours, how far away from home did it travel and how long did it take?
6. Put your paper(s) in my in box.
Green Tree Frogs
United States Total Area
owl: 18 oz max weight, 3 years max average age
Brown bat: 5/8 oz max weight, 18 years max average age
Coyote: 75 pounds max weight, 14 years max average age
Green tree frog: max weight, 15 years max average age
Harvest mouse: 1 oz max weight, 3 years max average age
Opossum: 12 pounds max weight, 2 years max average age
Raccoon: 18 pounds max weight, 13 years max average age
Skunk: 6.6 pounds max weight, 7 years max average age
4c. 250 acres equals
square miles, TN has 42,146 square miles. 168 opossums.
4d. Answers will vary.
5a. 365 * 8 = 2920,
24 – 8 = 16; 16 * 365 = 5840,
2920 hours: 5840 hours or 1 : 2
5b. A coyote can have a maximum running speed of about 40 mph. 40 miles per hour * 4 hours = 160 miles away from home in 4 hours and the same back for a total of 320 miles in 8 hours.
I hope you enjoyed the book and this Web Quest. I know you learned a lot about animals and that it is possible to find math in almost anything.
Fraser, M. A. (1999). Where are the night animals?. New York, NY: Harper Collins.
Adams, J. (2003). Vector: Rats and mice. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from
California Center for Wildlife and the Fund for Animals. (2004). Living with skunks. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.projectwildlife.org/living-skunks.htm
Col, J. (2001). US states (including Washington DC) area and ranking. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/states/area.shtml
Easterly, A., & Easterly, P. (2004). Opossum: Interesting opossum facts. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.vamountainman.com/opossum.htm
Environmental Animal Sanctuary and Education. EASE education. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.ease-animals.org.uk/frame.html
(2000). Raccoon facts and FAQs. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from
Monaro Amphibian & Reptile Keepers. Care sheet: Green tree frog (Litoria Caerulea). Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.mark.org.au/pages/cs_greentreefrog.htm
Opossum Society of the United States. (2003). Opossum general information. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.opossumsocietyus.org/opossum.html
Postanowicz, R. (2004). Coyote. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.lioncrusher.com/animal.asp?animal=11
Quass, B. (2004). Barn owl Hushwing Harry. Retrieved November 6, 2004, from www.quass.com/owlspecies/barnowl.html
Russell, M. (2004). Facts about skunks. Retrieved November 6, 2004, from www.vickifox.com/skunk_facts.php
Willis, B. (2004). Area conversions. Retrieved November 6, 2004, from
WNC Nature Center. (2002). Big brown bat. Retrieved November 5, 2004, from www.wildwnc.org/af/brownbat.html
This quest will meet the following NCTM standards:
NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, Standard 2, Algebra, grades 6 – 8: Instructional programs should enable all students to understand patterns, relations, and functions –
Represent, analyze, and generalize a variety of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and when possible, symbolic rules.
NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, Standard 4, Measurement, grades 6 – 8: Instructional programs should enable all students to understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement -
Understnad relationships among units and convert from one unit to another within the same system.
NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, Standard 9, Connections,
grades 6-8: Instructional
programs from prekindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to –
Recognize and apply mathematics in
contexts outside of mathematics.