Thursday, October 11, 2012


October is always a fun month for teachers. Like February, there are only about a twenty thousand thematic topics to choose prevention, fall, pumpkins, Halloween, Columbus Day, and my personal favorite - National Grouch Day on October 15th. I'm not joking so STOP LAUGHING.

NOTICE: Pathetic attempts at humor and random tangents abound. You might as well know how I roll from the get-go.

Consider yourself warned.   

Back to thematic units...Spooky animals like bats and spiders are also two common themes that pop up in hallways and in classrooms. 

A few different kind of animals popped into our Learning Center, the UNHUGGABLE kind.

We are fortunate enough to have access to Milford Nature Center in Milford, Kansas.  One of their goals is to provide a better understanding of our natural community here in the Flint Hills, including Kansas Wildlife.  Lucky for us, this includes a traveling presentation on animals that aren't really anyones' favorites, but are quite crucial to our ecosystem.

Alisa K., is a naturalist with MNC and has a master's degree focusing on wildlife education from Emporia State University. She started the lesson out with a great visual using wooden blocks with animal pictures to explain the food chain. Our second graders watched intently as she demonstrated how our ecosystem would crash if we didn't have animals like mice, prairie dogs, fox-footed ferrets, and the like. 

Then, she brought the animals out.

The Bull-Nosed Snake

The Virginia Opossum. Yes, a Virgina Opossum in Kansas, smarty-pants.

And my favorite, the Turkey Vulture.

Vulture talons are items of high interest WHEN NOT ATTACHED TO AN ACTUAL VULTURE.

Vultures also pee on their legs, which kills the bacteria from the rotting carcass they stand in as they eat.  Useful urine. Score for the vulture.

Did you know that vultures will vomit as a means of self-defense?

I did.

Know who else knows?

All of the second graders in the Learning Center at 10:40am.


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