Wolf Pack Classroom Ideas
Leader of the Pack
Every pack has two leaders, the alpha male and his companion the alpha female. These two wolves are the most powerful wolves in the pack. If you have a line leader or special class helper, you might want to call him or her the Leader of the Pack.
One way to select the Pack Leader is to write children’s names on note cards and put them in a pile. After a child has been the Leader of the Pack, remove that child’s card from the pile. Continue this rotation until you have gone through the entire pile of names cards and each child has been the Leader once. Using the note cards is also a good way to select children in other classroom situations, such as for class jobs or to answer questions, and so forth. It allows children see that you are fair and don’t have any favorites.
Some children may not want to be singled out as the Leader. Accept their decision, praise their efforts, and select another. It’s best to let shy children assume leadership roles gradually throughout the course of the year as they become more comfortable in different situations.
Contrary to popular belief, wolves don’t howl at the moon! But they do howl for lots of other reasons: to unite the pack, to find each other in a strange territory, to send messages, to warn of danger, to announce a successful hunt, or just for fun!
Howling Sessions are brief classroom meetings where you and your class meet as you do in a Greeting Ceremony to “howl” about super behavior or a class achievement. You may howl about a child who has been doing a super job, or praise the entire class for excellent listening at an assembly. Members of the class pack are also encouraged to howl about each other’s accomplishments: a friend’s super pitching in a baseball game, a great performance at a piano recital, or a kind act at recess. Have Howling Sessions whenever you want and watch self-esteem, pride, and considerate behaviors “howl” throughout your classroom.
Going on a Hunt/Making Tracks
A wolf pack’s survival depends upon their prowess in the hunt. After your class has learned that wolves are hunters, explain how to “Go on a Hunt.”
Going on a Hunt is a way to monitor and reward positive class-wide behaviors. After determining the desired behavior or attitude, tell the children that they are going on a hunt for . . . raising quiet hands, following directions, walking-not running-in the classroom, and so on. Going on a Hunt helps children become more responsible for making good choices in following Pack Rules.
Monitor progress toward the goal of the hunt with a Making Tracks chart. Making tracks is something wolves do each day. It isn’t uncommon for them to cover 40 to 60 miles a day as they search for food. In your classroom, use Making Tracks as a visual reinforcement. On a bulletin board or poster, show tracks toward the target behavior or attitude. The “Making Tracks” caption can also be used when you make academic or behavior awards: Congratulations, you’re making tracks! Super job with . . . managing your time well, being ready on time, walking in the hall, and so on. You can create Making Tracks charts for the entire class or notes for different groups of children working on various academic or behavioral goals.