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Teaching natural history

A few notes about Audubon

March 23, 2014
Observer Today

As a member of the Education Staff, I have the privilege of going into local schools and teaching kids of various ages about natural history. The take-away, for me at least, is surprisingly consistent; besides adding to my growing list of humorous stories that could be titled "Kids Say the Darndest Things," these visits make it very clear that our area's students are thirsty for knowledge about wildlife. They crave even a pseudo-encounter with their Mother Nature. Jamestown Audubon's school programs nearly always involve bringing pieces of the out-of-doors into the classroom- beaver pelts, bear skulls, insect collections, bird nests, leaves and seeds- and the kids treat even these simple items as if they were relics from some era long-since passed. I wish I could describe the absolute awe that falls over the room as they pass around a Painted Turtle shell. The majority of them examine the piece as if they have never touched something so real. Where's the turtle, they wonder. Where indeed.



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