On May 11th, first grade students met in the library for a Skype visit with the Buffalo Bill Center Museum in Wyoming. The presenter took us on a tour of exhibits showcasing the animals that live in the Yellowstone area. We saw a stuffed grizzly bear, a moose and big horned sheep. We were surprised to learn that the huge curly horns of the sheep are made of keratin, the same material that makes up our hair and fingernails. The first graders were astonished to see the difference in size between a coyote skull and a the much larger wolf skull. They were invited to guess which animal was the fastest in that region. Coyote? Wolves? Were some of the guesses. The correct answer was the prong horned antelope. Our presenter was knowledgeable and upbeat. It was a very interesting glimpse into another region, the animals that live there, and the adaptations that help them survive in that habitat.
In preparation for the Skype visit, students had each been asked to research an animal from our local woodland habitat and to draw a picture of their animal. Students learned about coyotes, beavers, deer, black bears and many others. Several first graders shared their drawings. Students researched their animals by taking notes from a book about their animal. They wrote notes about the animal's habitat, life cycle, diet and fun facts. Then students looked up the animal they were studying on PebbleGo. This is an online subscription database with information on many subjects. First graders combined their notes to write a paragraph about their animal. They did a great job on this project.