Why We Live in the City

What Is This Video?

A big city is NO place for a wild animal. Unless… well, unless there’s tasty trash lying around and comfy places to hide!

Conversation Starters

Ask:
  • What animals were in the video? What animals have you seen in your city? (The video shows squirrels, various birds, a fox, a rat, and ants.)

  • What are some advantages for animals that live in the city? (It provides safe places to hide, food, and water.)

  • Have you seen animals eat food that wouldn’t be around if not for people? What did they eat and from where? (Squirrels collect nuts from the trees people plant. Birds eat seeds, worms, and insects from city gardens. Lots of animals feed on food in the garbage.)

  • Where can animals live safely in the city? (Squirrels live in trees. Birds build nests in trees and on ledges, safe from predators. Ants and many other critters build nests underground.)

  • What might be other benefits to living in a city?

Explore Some More

Ant Cleanup Crews

Pavement ants are ants that live on sidewalks and streets. They feed on garbage that people throw away—hot dogs, chips, pizza, apple cores, you name it. Research these tiny cleanup crews (search “pavement ants” online) if you like, and observe ants in action near you. On a warm dry day, find a dirt or grassy patch between the sidewalk and the street, and lay out a variety of small food pieces, each one on an index card or small paper plate. Then watch and wait. A trail of ants is almost sure to show up—and perhaps other hungry animals. Are all the ants the same color and size? Which foods do they gobble up, and which do they avoid? How many ants are on each card or plate? How do they get food back to the nest? Where is the nest? (Follow the ant trail if you can.)

Curriculum Topics

animal survival, ecosystems

Activity Type

indoor and outdoor