Back in the Classroom
Horse Object (K-8): Ask students to find an advertisement, an image, or an object that depicts a horse from any culture—historical or contemporary. Have students describe what the horse is doing and its surroundings. Ask: What do your observations tell you about how this culture views the horse?
Compare Hoof & Tooth Fossils (K-5): Download this activity where students can compare and contrast the hooves and teeth of extinct and living horse species. They can use their observations to explore how horses are adapted to particular habitats.
Field Trip (K-12): Offer students a connection to live horses or zebras by visiting a farm, a stable at a racetrack, a riding
center, or a zoo. Have students sketch one of the animals, observing and noting physical and behavioral traits. (Tri-state area educators: At the Bronx Zoo, wild Przewalski horses [takhi] are viewable via monorail during spring and summer.)
Story: One-Horse Town? (3-8): Have students research historical images of their town 100 years ago and note how horses were integral to daily life. (Try your local library or historical society, or online image resources such as the Library of Congress's "American Memory") They can also search for modern-day clues to past horse presence, such as buildings that were once carriage houses. Students can then compose a fictional "day-in-the-life" story from the point of view of a person living a century ago, highlighting how horses were used.
Calculate Horsepower (5-8): Download this math activity where students can explore the unit of "horsepower."
Horse Racing Debate (5-12): While horse racing is a thrilling sport with a storied past, it has its issues. For example, thoroughbred horses are bred for speed, not strength. Under the strain of racing, their leg bones may break with a misstep. And some retired racehorses that cannot find new homes are euthanized. Have students research the pros and cons of horse racing. Then hold a class debate over whether and how it should continue.
Discuss the Exhibition
Build on what your students learned at the Museum with these conversation starters:
The Horse for Educators
You'll find free online resources, including activities and reference lists.
OLogy: The Horse
Students can explore an interactive on horse breeds, make flipbooks to study horse gaits, and more.
Science Bulletins: Takhi—The Last Wild Horse
Students can watch a documentary video on the reintroduction of takhi, the only surviving wild horse, to Mongolia. Essays, interactives, and educator resources accompany the video.
OLogy: Tree of Life
Students can explore the Tree of Life cladogram and learn how scientists sort species based on shared characteristics. While horses are not listed on the diagram, students can find mammals, one of the taxonomic groups to which horses belong.