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Kindergarten: Animal Scientists Study Zoo Critters

Animal scientists got four visitors from the Denver Zoo -- an educator and three critters -- to help them learn about different kinds of vertebrates: mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians.
With an emphasis on observation, they were introduced to Chipotle, a guinea pig, Zambezi, an African bullfrog, and a shingleback skink named Walla. Students were encouraged to voice their “I notice ...” and “I wonder ...” thoughts as they studied each animal’s distinct characteristics. They discussed topics like how an animal avoids predators, what it eats, and why it has eyes on the front of its head.

At four stations, they also touched and examined biofacts -- actual skins, bones and feathers from animals. Before packing up his animals and exhibits, the zoo educator allowed students to gently touch Walla. How did she feel? They described her as “bumpy,” “like a pine cone,” and “rough.”

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.