A surprise guest from the Ogden Nature Center visited the first grade classes at Amelia Earhart Elementary to give an interactive wildlife lesson.

Daniel Brown, an Outreach Educator from the Ogden Nature Center, helped teach the first graders in Breanna Newsom’s class what it means to be a scientist. To do this, the class split up into groups and rotated around the room to different stations where wildlife remains lay waiting for their observation. At each table, the students looked at things like pelts, bones and feathers then made comments about what they noticed.

As they moved from station to station, Brown and Newsom encouraged the students to look for similarities among the animals they observed. Many noticed sharp teeth and smooth furs as common characteristics. Other students discovered new facts about how tortoises grow their shells and the purpose a hawk’s feathers serve. With each rotation the students were able to discover something new and exciting about a number of animals.

Once finished with their observation rotation, the students furthered their scientific exploration by learning how to sort different animals. Brown explained the defining characteristics of birds, mammals and reptiles then provided an activity for the students to test their knowledge. After sorting pictures of animals in the correct category, the students circled up for one last surprise.

To end their time together, Brown revealed Burt, a gopher snake from the nature center. After describing some cool characteristics about Burt, Brown held him out for each of the students to pet. The first graders loved learning about the different animals and many decided they too wanted to be a scientist like Brown when they grow up.

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