The Preschool is crawling with creatures big and small! Recently French Teacher, Virginie Falquerho's PS-A classroom was visited by a docent from the Oakland Zoo, who brought along an assortment of critters for the children to discover - among them, a tortoise and a frisky ferret. The opportunity for the children study these animals up close was a unique lesson in life sciences. The children are furthering this lesson with their own classroom pets, walking stick bugs and snails. They are comparing the habitats, diets and the care of these docile creatures.
The children in Jean Baptiste Cochereau's PS/MS classroom have their own pets to care for, an assortment of fish and two colorful geckos have made home in room C for the past 2 years. The study and care of these pets are a regular part of children's daily routine.
The young children in Toute Petite Section have had their own insight into the nocturnal shenanigans of zoo animals through Peggy Rathmans's delightful children's book, Good Night Gorilla. In anticipation of a field trip to watch a performance of the story by talented actors of the Berkeley Children's Theater, French teacher Floriane Anglio and me as the English teacher introduced the children to the principal characters in the story, the gorilla, the giraffe, the elephant, the lion and the anteater.
Learning about these animals was the perfect opportunity to introduce the concepts of size, shape, and color, and to encourage the use of descriptive language in identifying the humorous characters of this classic tale of zoo life.
The study of animals, small and large in the classroom fosters an understanding about the differences and similarities, and needs of all creatures. We have loved seeing the children's developing interest and enjoyment of animals and hope to continue these lessons as the school year progresses.