Animal Tracks by Steve tracking education About Steve Engel and Animal Tracks Education products Tracking workshops and public art installations TrackTiles Order information for track products Animal tracking links and resources animal track products
how to identify a mountain lion track how to track wild animals
cast bronze tracks of wild animals
"Dear Steve,
My recent trip to Alaska on the M.V. Sea Lion was magical.. A highlight of the trip was the presentation you gave on animal tracks. You took us through the analysis of tracks with a fun, hands-on, practical approach. I love the dichotomous key you designed. The key makes it possible for a total novice to identify animal tracks."
Karen Martin, West Palm Beach, Florida

Education Services and Consulting Information

Animal Track Lessons
Animal Tracks Literacy Project
Animal tracking with Steve learn how to track animals
Animal tracking lessons
badger track footprints from the wild

Animal Tracks Literacy* Project MISSION

Tracking workshop at school
  • To promote observation and awareness of one's surroundings
  • To encourage understanding and appreciation of the natural world.
In natural settings these abilities can be very rewarding, sometimes at a profound level, and may even be life saving. In everyday life, a "trackers mindset" will help you feel more connected to the natural rhythms around you.

*Reading stories written in the language of tracks

Animal Tracks Literacy Project, Lessons I and II, will present the basics of animal track identification and interpretation in a simple, fun, hands-on format. Participants will learn about the natural history of local wildlife and, by the end of Lesson II, become engaged in creating their own animal track stories.


At the core of the A.T.L.P. are two classroom lessons in which students learn techniques for identifying and interpreting animal tracks using specially designed stencils. These lessons introduce basic skills, terminology and concepts important to animal track literacy.

animal track stencils

Order lesson plan online here.

Lesson One: Identifying Animal Tracks
Ages: Upper elementary and above.
Time: 60 - 90 minutes
Goal: To make the student aware of the details that distinguish tracks of different species and to increase understanding of animal adaptations.
Objectives: Students will be able to:
  • Use new terminology to describe the differences in tracks
  • Accurately measure and record data on a track
  • Identify one or more mystery tracks using a dichotomous key
  • Predict some aspects of the animal's lifestyle based on their tracks

Lesson I: Identifying Animal Tracks comes in a 3-ring binder with enough mystery track stencils for a class of 30, representing 8 common species. Outline of procedure, background information, examples of completed worksheets and all master copies needed for the lesson are included.

Lesson Two is available through having Steve visit your school or group.

animal track stencils
Lesson Two: Reading Animal Track Stories
Ages: Upper elementary and above
Time: 60 - 90 minutes
Goal: To help students see the connection between a pattern of tracks, the shape and size of the animal that made them, and the activity of the animal.
Objectives: Students will be able to:
  • Recognize four basic types of track patterns.
  • Act out the gait that creates each pattern.
  • Make four basic measurements of track patterns.
  • Create their own animal track story using action stencils.

Custom Programs

Steve enjoys working with all ages in both indoor and outdoor settings. His breadth of experience as a naturalist and years working as an environmental educator guarantee his presentations to be fun, engaging and full of great information.

Steve has done numerous workshops and training sessions with teachers, interpretive staff, and volunteer staff. The focus of these workshops can be animal tracking or can range widely from bird identification skills, to interpretive techniques in the field, to slide programs on the natural history of various areas Steve has traveled to over the years.

Contact us to discuss the details of your custom program. Cost of additional preparation time, materials, and travel time (if outside local area), will be added to the fee schedule.


Steve is available for consultation on projects, especially those seeking to present accurate animal track stories and interpretation in public settings. Consulting fees are based on a 75.00/hour rate.

Fee Schedule

Bring the Animal Tracks Literacy Project, Lessons I and II, to your site.

A basic presentation requires a minimum of 60 minutes contact time for each lesson. Allowing for 90 minutes per lesson is optimal if students want to work with plaster casts to practice their skills. Recommended grade level is 5th grade and above.

Steve provides all necessary materials for each lesson up to 30 students. The hosting organization provides suitable meeting space, adequate desk or table space for each student, overhead projector and screen.
Lesson II requires large flat surfaces to work on (tables, counters or clear floor space).

animal track stencils

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© Animal Tracks by Steve 2004
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POB 4164   Portland,OR 97208-4164