Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! children's conceptions of forests and their inhabitants



Forty first-grade children, drawn from urban areas in Nebraska and New Jersey, were asked to produce drawings of forests and were interviewed about forests and the types of living things found in them. Results indicate that the children's concepts of animals and where they live are quite diverse, but highly concrete and unorganized. Although children correctly assigned most forest-dwellers to the forest (deer and squirrels, for example), they also tended to assign almost all other animals (elephants, sharks, etc.) to the forest as well, especially carnivores. A general lack of awareness of plant life, insects, water resources, and other forest features was also observed.