Nutcracker Fantasy

This Nutcracker Fantasy activity & project also includes:

The Clark's nutcracker bird hides seeds in 25,000 different sites every year to save for winter. Lesson demonstrates how difficult it would be to find these seeds months later when they need them for food. In the first of five lesson, scholars hide seeds and then try to relocate them using their short-term memories. As a class, they then discuss and analyze results to learn about the difference in short- versus long-term memory.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • After pupils hide their seeds and you are discussing the memory tricks they will use, have another teacher go through and move or take some of the seeds that have been hidden to simulate them being taken by other animals
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires unusual lab supplies such as striped sunflower seeds
  • Prepare the seeds before class, as they take 30 minutes to dry before the activity
  • Ideally, lesson takes place in a large outdoor area but can be adapted to a classroom
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Provides cross-curricular connections to math and science
  • Fun activity incorporates multiple learning styles 
  • Easily adjustable up or down depending on the level of your students
  • None