Eavesdropping on Elephants

Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conservation by Patricia Newman

Topic: Elephants

Eavesdropping on Elephants_Cover showing two elephants with their heads touching


The Eavesdropping on Elephants – Teacher’s Guide features 10 activities that target national science, English, mathematics, and art education standards for grades 4-6. This website provides summary background information, along with digital content that complements the printable guide.

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Activity 3: A Language of Your Own

Watch the video of two elephants greeting each other below, then discuss the questions found in the teacher’s guide.

Activity 8: Identifying the Science Process

Use the K-12 Science Process Discovery Poster to familiarize students with the science method and aid the activity.

Activity 9: Decoding Spectrograms

Watch the three elephant behavior videos below (also available on the Elephant Listening Project website) and answer the observational questions found in the teacher’s guide. You may also wish to visit the Macaulay Library for sound recordings and sample spectrograms of various other species.

Activity 10: Spectrogram Creators

The following sites are great examples of programs researchers use to create spectrograms from audio recordings:

If you’re looking to explore spectrogram creation software with your class, we recommend trying out Raven Lite (a free software program for beginners, students, and educators) as well as this helpful spectrogram view explanation page provided by Audacity.