On Thursday we went skating again. All the students did an amazing job and had a blast. Everyone was exhausted after all of that hard work but they made it through the rest of the day! Thanks again to all of the parents who were able to tie skates and help out on the ice.
Today we did a blubber experiment with water, ice, shortening and ziploc bags. We wanted to test out how well blubber insulates winter animals, however instead of using blubber we used shortening. The students made predictions, tested the water with their bare hands, tested the water with a 'blubber' barrier, and recorded their findings. They had blast finding out how warm blubber keeps winter animals!
We were very fortunate this week to have a video conference with Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas. We spent time talking with a zoo keeper about how animals survive in cold weather habitats. We got to see a Chinchilla named Harvey. Chinchillas grow heavy, thick coats of fur to survive cold temperatures. Harvey can have almost 100 little hairs coming out of one small root/pore.
We also got to talk about blubber and how animals like penguins, walruses, seals and whales use blubber to help insulate their bodies from the cold.
Next we got to see a bull snake. He hibernates to survive winter temperatures. We learned that snakes are not poisonous, but actually venomous. This is because snakes inject you with venom. If something is poisonous, it is because you ingest it or come in contact with it.
We saw a polar bear skull. It was huge! We learned that polar bears don't eat penguins. This is because polar bears live in the North Pole and penguins live in the South Pole. We saw some polar bear fur and learned that their skin is actually black and its fur is more clear than white.
Lastly we got to view a migrating bird - the ringed turtle dove. We remembered that some birds migrate, but so do whales and butterflies.
Mrs. W and I were very impressed with the students' polite manners during a long 45 minute session of sitting. They asked some deep thinking questions and answered questions showing a high level of understanding.
Cathy Farber is a Kindergarten teacher at Bert Edwards Science & Technology School in Kamloops, B.C.