Our Hero of the Environment today was pre-teen animal advocate, Kate Gilman Williams. We listened to a book she co-wrote about her adventures on an African safari and learned what she is doing to protect endangered animals in Africa. Later, we took part in a match the safari animal to our footprint challenge and researched some information about a safari animal of our choice. We also presented some interesting facts to the class. Outdoors we took part in a Cross the River team building challenge – so much fun! Today we met Big Mamma, a ball python which is a snake species from Africa!
Did you know there are tiny animals that call the pond their home? Insects are small animals that can be found all around ponds - sometimes they're even IN the water! All insects have 6 legs and go through a life cycle called, metamorphosis. We were able to identify different stages in a butterfly's life cycle and put the stages in order of events. We searched for butterflies, crickets, and bumblebees while on our nature walk and practiced making a capital letter I out of sticks!
Today we had two heroes of the environment that we learned about. Michelle Obama and Will Allan have goals to inspire healthy eating and encourage people to get moving! We investigated various vegetables during lab time by measuring them, weighing them, and learning about their nutritional value. Next we went outside to get moving! We had a hula hoop challenge and played some velcro mitt ball catch. This day wouldn't be complete without us making a salad feast for APEC herbivores and omnivores! We cleaned and chopped up fresh greens and veggies and hand-fed many of APEC's animal ambassadors!
Time for a reptile round-up! Kindergarten Kids learned about all the reptiles that live at APEC! We met a baby cornsnake named Junior and found out that snakes have some very cool adaptations! They have flexible bodies that help them slither in their environment. Later, Ms. Bonnie helped us make our own snake out of fruit loops! Those snakes certainly smelled delicious!
Forget about green eggs and ham, we made compost stew today! We were inspired by today's heroes of the environment - the Angeletti Siblings who launched Back2Earth in 2017. The siblings started by teaching their neighbors how to compost and stop contributing food waste to landfills. Our group created a BIG pot of compost stew and filled individual compost bottles with all the ingredients for a healthy compost stew, including worms! During lab time, we got to observe live worms and even saw their digestive tracks using a flashlight! Did you know that worms are nutritious snacks for some animals? Ms. Karen did a feeding demonstration and gave a worm to our resident Eastern Box Turtle, Sam. He really enjoyed his snack!
Today, we learned all about amphibians that live in the pond. We observed different frog and toad characteristics and practiced counting and graphing with colored frogs. Ms. Brenda brought out a real-live leopard frog for us to meet! This frog had really cool patterns on it, slimy skin, and really BIG eyes! While outside, we had a blast playing leap frog and searching for amphibians in the park!
Today, we were entrusted with the important task of designing and building bridges to go over an alligator infested moat! Ok it wasn't a real moat or real alligators by we did build some epic bridges! Some of our bridges withstood weights upwards of 35 lbs! We'd call that a success! We learned about more reptiles today and went searching for reptiles on our nature walk throughout the park.
We've got butterflies on the brain! Today's hero of the environment was Duncan Jurman who has been fascinated by butterflies since the age of 4. In high school, Duncan developed a large butterfly garden at his school which successfully attracted 28 species of butterflies including 2 endangered species. We learned about butterfly life cycles and played musical butterflies - each time the music stops, you have to act out the life cycle stage you land on! While outdoors we tallied how many cabbage white butterflies we saw and looked for butterfly eggs under leaves. We loved making our butterfly crafts flutter up and down the hallway!
We had so much fun exploring the special adaptations of ducks today! Ducks are a type of bird that loves to live in and around the pond. These birds have special adaptations, or characteristics, that help them live in ponds. We did some hands-on experiments to see how the oil on a duck's feathers repels water. It's super important for their feathers to be dry when they need to fly! We also tested some tools to see which one works most similarly to a duck's bill. One our favorite parts of the day was getting to play Duck, Duck, Goose outside!
We're exploring the fascinating lives of reptiles and amphibians this week and we kicked things off today with some awesome reptile facts. Did you know that horned lizards use blood as their defense mechanism and the Basilisk lizard defies physics and runs and water to evade predators! Awesome! Reptiles also shed their skin periodically as they grow so Mr. Jacob helped us all turn into reptiles for the day! We used elmer's glue on our hands and peeled the dry glue off to mimic the feeling of reptiles shedding skin. We then compared our 'shed' skin to that of real shed skin from snakes at APEC.