Grand Lake students learn about African animals this summer
August 19, 2008
Grand Lake students increased their knowledge of some of their favorite African animals during summer school.
Last Friday they wore Safari hats and told an audience what they learned.
Trey Hahn, 8, found out the cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet and can run 75 mph.
“They can freeze instantly for 20 minutes and not move a muscle,” said the son of Shere and Justin of Grand Lake.
He also enjoyed making an African medicine bracelet. “It keeps evil spirits away,” he added.
The group also made musical instruments that are played in Africa, said Hahn, who is going into the third grade.
Chris Cox, 10, learned about the Egyptian cobra.
“It is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world,” said the son of Kevin and Andrea of Grand Lake. “His hood can be 7 inches long.”
“He lives in Africa and Egypt … He eats lizards, sometimes snakes, and he eats toads.”
Cox, who is going into fifth grade, said he likes snakes, and would like to own one someday.
His favorite part of summer school was doing the research for the project and reading about the cobra. He will continue to learn more about snakes on his own, he said.
Austin Brown, 9, found the rhinoceros interesting.
“Its hair is made of the same matter as your hair,” said the son of Allen and Angie. “It can go faster than a truck … It can weigh over 2,000 pounds.”
The African Rhino is the only type of rhino with two horns, he said. “And that’s what I learned about the rhinoceros.”
Travis Etler, 10, researched the leopard.
“The leopard has very strong jaws,” said the son of Erin of Grand Lake and Patrick of Parshall. “It could drag a whole animal up a tree backwards.”
The future fifth-grader said the cat will hide behind a bush when its prey is drinking water and then jump out and attack it.
A group of five students in the third through fifth grades met with instructor Angie Brown for four hours each day for two weeks during summer school.
Their African animal research project required reading and writing, and each student completed a diorama. The students also participated in math and reading activities, as well as art projects.
“I was very impressed by their work,” said Brown, who also is the first and second grade teacher at Grand Lake Elementary. “I wanted to make it fun instead of all just skill and drill type of things. I had them do a research project and then they chose their animal themselves so that they would be engaged in it.”