Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.
- One of the first images shows a dog called Piri sniffing at the outside of a large truck. The caption tells us that Piri detected a mouse in a truck bound for predator-free Motuihe Island. Are you impressed by Piri’s ability to sniff out rodents in these huge trucks? Where might a mouse hide inside a truck to escape being noticed by a human?
- Dogs are trained to seek different species and can even differentiate between different reptile species. How do you think they manage to get the dogs to learn this skill?
- We learn that conservation dogs are a New Zealand invention and that they are now used around the world. Why might it have taken humans a while to think of using dogs in conservation work?
- Dogs form “a scent picture of the world that is composed of chemicals rather than sight.” Using this idea, can you describe what a dog might perceive when they walk down the street?
- While we can smell foot odour if someone takes off their shoes in the living room, a dog can smell foot odour if someone takes off their shoes in a large shopping mall. How does this make life very different for a dog? Does this help you understand dog behaviour in any way?
Activity: Make a Fairy Door
Bring some magic to a garden or a park near you with a homemade fairy door.
You will need:
- Ice-block sticks or twigs snapped to a similar length
- Buttons, pebbles, clay or other small decorative items
- Hot glue, or another kind of glue
Step One: Line up the ice-block sticks to look like a door. Glue two sticks across the back to hold them together and trim them to size.
Step Two: Decorate the sticks with paint and add a doorknob made from a button, pebble or clay. Add any other decorations you want to – moss, feathers, sparkles or something similar.
Step Three: Put your fairy door against the trunk of a tree in a place where other people will see it and smile!