Saturday 9: How's It Gonna Be?

Field Trip: Reptiles

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There was a notice on one of my online homeschool groups about an upcoming field trip about Reptiles. Since we were due to be studying about reptiles at the same time, I really wanted to take my kids to it... but it was more expensive than I could afford to spend, and I couldn't justify the strain on our budget. Well, a friend of mine heard about this, and she wanted the kids to be able to go. She supports our move to homeschooling and a better educational experience, so... she gave me the money to take them. Thank you, P. I am more grateful for that than I can ever express. So, at last, here is our field trip to the Reptile program at the Virginia Aquarium last month!


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We arrived early, so we had a chance to look around at some of the snake exhibits. This guy was posed perfectly... of course, that was the point, since he was dead and stuffed. Heh.

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Another stuffy-wuff. They didn't care. I tried to tell them they weren't alive, but they were all still pretty glad the critters were behind glass.


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Once the classroom opened up, we wandered in and signed up the kids. They were given reptile papers to color while we waited for everyone else. I was hoping there would be more to it than that. Thankfully, there was. Phew!


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The first thing they did, after everyone arrived, was sit and listen to a story read by Miss Jenny, the field trip coordinator. I forget the name of it, but you may know it - it's about a monkey who outwits a bunch of crocodiles wanting to eat him. The field trip was designed for ages up to 7, I think, so they wanted me to stay in case Chloë got bored. Since she can be a pretty immature 9-er, I wasn't too worried about that. Besides, I needed pictures for the blog, right?

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I can't remember the other lady's name, the one who was the "expert" for this excursion, so let's just name her Miss Laura. I know that's not right, but right now, I don't care! Anyway, after story time, she took over and told the kids what they were going to do next, which involved a romp outside. Of course, that made her an instant hit!

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They talked about reptiles being cold-blooded and how they would adjust to hot and cold temperatures outside. Then Miss Laura gave them each a little rubber snake to take outside, and she would tell them what temperature to imagine it was, and they would find a place for their snakes to be comfortable in that temperature.


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Sophia's snake, of which she took very good care. 


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At last, the antsy chirren were brought outdoors into the crisp Fall air. They forgot, for just a moment, what they were supposed to be doing, but Miss Laura and Miss Jenny quickly got them back under control. (Maybe I could use them for my Daisy troop?) 

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Sophia quickly found a place to hide her snake from the cold weather - under a pile of brightly-colored yellow leaves. She collected all those leaves and matched up just the ride shades. After all, her snake needed designer digs.


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Chloë was more frustrated by this task. At first, she wanted a unique hiding place for her snake, and then, she couldn't remember where she put him! Oops.

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Jack had fun with this, too. He did a great job. And he made friends with some other boys, which was a nice bonus for a day out.


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After that exercise, the children were rounded back up and brought inside again. There, Miss Laura (what WAS her name?!) did a little show-and-tell about some reptiles she had brought. I can't remember what kind of turtle Charlie was, but he sure was a cutie. The kids all crowded around to get their hands on him, but Miss Laura was smart and didn't let go!

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Everyone did get a chance to touch Charlie, though.

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The corn snake came out next. We had met him once before, at a previous visit to the aquarium, but his name escapes me at the moment, too. Another pass-around ensued.

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I can't remember whether any other reptiles were shown, but finally, Miss Laura got out a fat bullfrog and asked the kids if he was a reptile. Mine had already studied amphibians, so right away, they knew that he wasn't. Yes! 

I guess my camera must have died after that, because I don't have any more pictures.

Miss Laura showed them snake poop and shedded snake skin, and then they did another fun thing: Each child was given a length of pantyhose, just the leg part with both ends open. They had to pretend their arm was a snake, and they had to get the hose off their arm without using their other hand. They were supposed to find all kinds of different surfaces in the room and rub the "skin" off, finding which textures worked best. They really loved that and did it over and over again! 

In the end, it was a great outing for my kiddos, and a fun way to supplement what we'd been learning at home. 

(Not sure I'll post more tonight... I'm tired now. But I'll catch up more soon.)