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Learning Objectives

Students will learn about the impacts of group behavior on animals, specifically dogs. 


Grade Levels



Next Generation Science Standards

HS-LS2-8: Evaluate evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce.


Materials Needed

Computer with Internet Access

Microsoft Power Point

AKC Article- Meet Today’s Sled Dogs: HERE

National Geographic Article- What Makes a Good Sled Dog? Breed, Ambition, Tough Feet: HERE

Group Behavior Research Project Directions: HERE



Introduction and Instruction

  • Discuss the impact and importance of being in a group setting. Have students work in partners to discuss and brainstorm advantages and disadvantages of what it is like for humans to work in a group setting versus in an individual setting.  Discuss as a class.
  • Relate the above discussion to animals and what it is like for different animals to work in a group (shared food, finding food faster, higher defense but also potential increased predation, coping, social interaction, help raising young, higher access to mates, etc.) versus alone (don’t have to share resources, lower risk of sickness or infection, more difficult to find mates, loneliness, etc.) and talk about how it may impact their survival or chances to breed.
  • Talk about the various ways that animals work together cooperatively in a group (ex. flocking, schooling, herding, hunting, migrating, swarming, etc.).
  • Ask students to share any dog breeds that they know about that have worked together in groups (Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Chinook, and Samoyeds for example), or any breeds that work better alone depending on what they were bred to do. Go to the AKC Dog Breeds website HERE to reference any of the breeds students mention.

Partner Research Project/Group Presentation

  • Have students pick a partner to work with. Hand out the two articles and research project directions to groups.  Review directions and MLA format with students.

Review and Closing

  • Have students present their findings to the class in the form of a Power Point Presentation.



Burke, Anna. “Meet Today’s Sled Dogs.” American Kennel Club, 01 May 2017,

Dog Breeds. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Lee, Jane. “What Makes a Great Sled Dog? Breed, Ambition, Tough Feet.”  National Geographic, 31 January 2015,