4th graders are deep into their animal adaptation unit, and had the opportunity to go on a field experience to Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Students were thrilled to see their textbook come to life as they observed/touched many creatures and discussed special features that help these creatures survive. It was so amazing to see academic vocabulary fly out of their mouths (such as migration, hibernation, instinct, learned behavior) when answering questions, and their proud faces as they connected the dots between the classroom and the real world of nature.
When the instructors at Lindsay learned we were beginning our unit on California Birds, they tailor-made our tour so we really got to see and learn about the birds in their care. Almost every bird being researched by a Saklan student was found at the museum. One student even got to go see his bird back in the nursery as she was recovering from delivering an egg!
Because the students were so engaged in their research, they were let in on a very special treat of seeing a bald eagle brought into their hospital. The eagle had been electrocuted by a power line, and behind the glass we observed doctors and nurses working very hard to save its life. Even in this situation, Lindsay made it a learning moment and the students observed the adaptations of the bald eagle up close.
As the students were leaving, they brought out a turkey vulture that was 40 years old! He had amazing adaptations that were so unique, and it was such a treat to see it and ask questions of the person in charge of his well-being.
4th graders are so inspired to return to class and begin researching their particular bird, especially with this field experience to recall.