3rd Grade for Three Days!
We learned about bears! We learned about reptiles! And we dissected owl pellets!
District staff spent three days last week with Portage Area Elementary School 3rd graders, educating them about various wildlife species as well as assisting them in their investigation of owl pellets! Day one was spent learning about Pennsylvania black bears. The program kicked off by playing a quick true or false game to get students thinking about black bear facts, they were then taught about some interesting techniques used to age a black bear. Students listened as District staff explained what to do if a bear is in your backyard, what bears eat, and how they survive in the wild. To keep things interactive, the students played a game where they got to put their new found knowledge to the test! Students played a game where they became bears and had to gather as much ‘food’ as they could in their bear ‘habitat’, teaching them about habitat needs. Following that game, another game was played to test student’s sense of smell, and demonstrates the importance of a bear’s nose to their survival. The program wrapped up with a discussion of bears and any questions the new bear experts had.
Day two held a variety of learning opportunities for the 3rd grade, as they traveled outside the classroom and into the District education center (Disaster’s Edge in St. Michael). Students were broken into smaller groups and rotated through different stations that focused on different environmental subjects. Bird watching in the morning, trail hikes in the afternoon, and hands-on learning about some of the reptiles and amphibians who call the Edge their home were what made the day a special field trip for the grade!
The last day staff spent with 3rd grade was one of investigation. Always a student favorite, owl pellets were given to each 3rd grader to rip apart and identify the findings inside. Owl information was given and a real frozen screech owl was displayed to the students. Staff brought an owl skull replica, egg, and talons to show students an up close view of the majestic owl. After dissecting the owl pellets and discovering various bones, students were able to identify some of the bones. Many students found mice, rats, moles, and some feathers in their owl pellets. The investigation and identification of what is found inside the pellet was the end to a fun and information filled week spent at Portage Area Elementary School. Hope to see you next year!