First graders squirmed in their seats, anxiously waiting for their turn to pet the baby turtle moving around to each student in the classroom.
At Lausanne, teachers consistently create learning environments that allow students to experience what they are learning in the classroom in real-world situations. Because of this, first graders had the opportunity to meet members of the community that help protect and conserve the environment.
During the Primary Years Programme unit “Sharing the Planet,” students invited local Meeman-Shelby Park Rangers to the classroom. The students are studying local ecosystems and how humans can help protect and balance habitats in our area.
“The rangers shared with us live animals from the habitats of Meeman-Shelby Forrest,” said first-grade teacher Tabatha Whittaker. “They brought in a corn snake, milk snake, barred owl and red-eyed baby turtle.”
The park rangers carried the turtle and snakes around the classroom and allowed each student who wanted to pet them have a turn. Once the students finished petting the creatures, the rangers brought out an owl, and students watched in amazement as it flapped its wings.
Bringing the park rangers and animals to Mrs. Whittaker’s class was a great way for students to experience and interact with the living things they are learning about in the classroom. After learning about the animals, students had an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the role park rangers play in taking care of the local forest habitats.