First we reviewed the types of teeth that humans have and what they are used for. There is a freebie mouth diagram at my teachers pay teachers store that worked well for this.
Next we made an anchor list of traits or clues (using student background knowledge, research and some teacher input) that might help us identify an herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, predator or prey.
Using a chart in their science journals, students kept a list of what they noticed about each skull in the following categories: Incisors, Canines, Molars, Eye-placement, and Skull Size. Using their data, they were asked to determine whether the animal was an herbivore, omnivore or carnivore and whether the animal was prey, predator or possibly both.
The picture above is of the rabbit skull. Here is what the students were able to observe:
1) Well-developed, sharp incisors for cutting.
2) Lacks canine teeth completely
3) Wide, strong-looking molars for mashing and grinding
4) Eyes are positioned on the sides of the head
Based on their observations and background knowledge, most students correctly concluded that a rabbit is a herbivore and a prey!