NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Alice the box turtle, Chili the chinchilla, and a few of their friends visited first-graders at Trinity Elementary School recently when The Nature Company stopped by to teach them about creatures from around the world.
Anthony Cogswell, founder of The Nature Company, brought the mini-menagerie to the school, along with facts about each critter, for in-depth science lessons the students could get their hands on.
He explained that chinchillas are nocturnal and use camouflage to survive in their mountain habitats. They're also known as the softest mammal. The students learned that box turtles hibernate in winter, and have a hinged shell that allows them to hide themselves completely within their hard outer case.
They also met Kevin the chameleon.
"I learned that chameleons change color when their feelings change," said first-grader Meily Garcia. "They can be one color when they're cold, another color when they are scared, and turn another color when they're happy!"
Meeting Bob the king snake, they learned that he and others of his species eat mice and don't blink - ever.
"I was surprised to feel that Bob was actually dry and not slimy," said Cayleigh McAleese, also in first grade.
Cogswell closed the session with some review questions.
"The Nature Company provided our students with a hands-on learning experience that bridged all content areas," said first-grade teacher Kerry McKenna. "The children were able to connect their new knowledge with prior knowledge from our Science and Social Studies Units."