Mustang Web Quest

“You’re a Wild Mustang…”


 

Introduction

You’re a wild mustang, and you are the leader of your herd. You must look out for your herd-mates and lead them to places to graze, drink water, find shelter, and escape predators. However, you are running into a couple of serious problems.

  • Problem #1: There is a drought and your usual watering holes are drying up.
  • Problem #2: Your main predator, a very sneaky two-legged creature, has been encroaching upon your territory and has been capturing some of your herd members. Why? What has become of them? What will you do? The decisions you make will determine whether or not you and your herd survives. You might even thrive. It all depends…on you! Come and explore what it takes to be a horse and learn all about a life out in the wild versus a life of domestication.

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Task

You will visit several websites to learn many things about horses. After your research, you will decide if you believe life out in the wild is better or life in captivity is better. Then, choose to work in a group or independently. If you choose to work in a group, find 1-3 other classmates who agree with your view, and together, your group will choose one of the following projects:

1)Poster Presentation:

    Create a poster that shows your research, presenting this to an audience like your family or a class.

2)Persuasive Writing Project:

    Draft a persuasive letter to the editor speaking out about your findings and how habitats can be improved for horses either in the wild or in captivity.  Support this letter with facts and quotes you find online.  The letter should include at least 5 well written paragraphs like an essay.

3)Action Project:

    Design a fundraiser or action plan to help either your local horse shelter or wild horse sanctuary. Plan it out in detail.  Consult with your family, your classmates, your local 4-H chapter, or another group that may want to get involved in helping you.  Place a plug in your local newspaper.  Seniors often need community service hours for their senior projects before graduating high school.  Get some of them to help you carry out your fundraising plan, and then surprise your local horse shelter or wild horse sanctuary!

Process

Before You Begin:

Print off a copy of each of the following:

A) Horse Care Topics worksheet:

Horse Care Topics

B) Wild-vs-Domestication graphic organizer:

Horse Venn Diagram

1. Use the following links to research information and fill out both of the worksheets you just printed. The first worksheet, Horse Care Topics, is designed to be a fact gathering sheet. The second sheet, the Wild-vs-Domestication graphic, is designed for you to put some thought into it and jot down what you believe the advantages and disadvantages of each are.

2. After gathering your data and filling out the worksheets, decide if you think that a horse has a “better” life in the wild or in the care of humans.  There’s  no right or wrong answer here, but be prepared to back up your claims with your facts and evidence.

3. Now you are ready to find 1-3 others who agree with you, if you are completing this WebQuest in a classroom. Is staying wild or being domesticated better?Write your group’s names under yours at the top of your worksheets, and decide as a group what project option you wish to do. All of you will make a poster           illustration. Choose #2 or 3 for the second part of your project.

A. Assign each team member an equal share in the project development and write what each person is responsible for on the back of your graphic organizer (sheet B: Wild-vs-Domestication graphic organizer)

B. Using materials online or in the classroom, make your project. You will have 3 class periods to research the information and 1 class period to decide on your groups, your project, and plan out your project. You will have 5 class periods to complete your project. One “catch-up” period will be given at the end if it is needed and you are using all your class time wisely.


 

Resources:

Wild Horses Captured
What is Domestication?
Equine Dentistry (Horse Teeth Care)
What Does Floating Teeth Mean and Why is Necessary?
Learn About Your Horse’s Basic Health Care Needs
About Mustangs
What Eats a Horse?
Horse Facts For Kids
Horse Hoof Care
Hoof Care Wild-vs-Domesticated
Why Does My Horse Need a Deworming Program?
FAQ About Wild Horse & Burro Program (What do wild horses need and why are there too many out in the wild?) See Q & A for #1,2,3,4 and 7.
Herd Instinct (About Wild Herd Dynamics)


 

Conclusion:

Whew! That was a lot of information to consider! You learned all about how horse’s feet and teeth keep growing throughout their life and need routine trimming, unless they are worn down correctly naturally. You learned that horses can eat all different kinds of grass, and how feeds like grain are not natural in a wild horse’s diet. You learned about predators. Sometimes, us humans are predators, and sometimes we are protectors. You even learned about gross yucky parasites inside the horses called worms. Domesticated horses get medicines and de-wormers to help them live longer lives. While you were pretending to be a horse, did you figure out that life in the wild is only good as long as you stay healthy, and as long as you find adequate food and water? As a wild one, you may enjoy your freedom, but you will also get stuck during the winter with little shelter and sometimes no food. Is your freedom more valuable than comfort? Do you think that every horse in captivity is treated equally well? What happens to the horses that are not adequately fed or cared for? Hopefully, we step in and rescue them! But for some horses who are not treated well or taken care of, life out in the wild may be better. It all depends on the quality of the habitat versus the quality of care we humans provide, doesn’t it? If this adventure has gotten you interested in helping horses, contact your local horse rescue facility. They usually need all the help they can get to help as many horses as possible.

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man.” -quote from unknown source

So, what do you think of our Web Quest?  After you try it out, let us know your thoughts!

 

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