Monday, October 25, 2010

The Zoo Comes to the Classroom

Students were excited about visitors to Technology class on October 11th.   These visitors were unique in more ways than one, as each was so different. They flew, crawled, scampered, had scales, feathers, wings, etc.  quite a change from the regular guest to a classroom.

Miss J. took a class offered by the Blank Park Zoo of Des Moines last summer, which created the opportunity for her to have the Education Coordinator of the zoo, Kathy McKee, visit her classroom with some animals. 

We studied digital photography and composition in the weeks before the visit while learning about the rule of thirds in composition along with studying photographs from the National Geographic animal photography website.  We practiced using the cameras looking for an interesting subject, the right view and angle and best overall shot.

Three sections of 7th Tech classes, averaging 20 students each, with cameras in hand, descended upon: a hedgehog, skink, leopard gecko, a tropical bird and a hissing cockroach.  Supplementing the photography stations in the art room were a mounted walleye and crappie compliments of Mr. Moon, another leopard gecko brought in by Cameron Corday and a mounted prairie chicken brought in by Miss Johnson.

There was an air of excitement traveling throughout the art room where the photos were taken.  Students snapped up to 26 photos of the animals in as many minutes.   They got the opportunity to touch and pet some of the animals and learn about their natural environment.  The next lesson in Tech class was to learn to download the photos and then edit them with the iphoto software on our computers.

McKee is excited about receiving the edited photos from the students.  She shared this was the first time she had done a unit that focused on photographing the animals on a classroom visit.  She’ll be pleasantly surprised when the final photographs arrive!