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Feathered Friends Visit Head O’ Meadow Kindergarten



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Trisha Kevalis, assistant director of the Fairfield Region of Connecticut Audubon, brought a few special friends to Head O’ Meadow Elementary School kindergarten classes on January 11.

Among them were a toad, a box turtle, an Australian blue-tongued skink, a millipede, and an owl. Kevalis said she has been visiting Head O’ Meadow kindergartners for 20 years, since she started with the organization.

“We do birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals to help them appreciate and see the differences between the animals,” Kevalis said.

Head O’ Meadow teacher Lisa Dievert said that she and her fellow colleagues look forward to the event every year.

“It’s so appropriate for their age level,” Dievert said. “They just make it so that the kindergartners really understand. They can ask questions and touch the animals.”

Children were encouraged to notice the animals’ bodies and speculate about their features, apply prior knowledge, and contrast each creature to later classify them.

Students eagerly piped up to note each animal’s potential to camouflage, connecting the toad’s bumpy brownness and the turtle’s mossy green appearance with the forest floor, for example.

By the end of the presentation, Head O’ Meadow kindergarten students were able to separate amphibians from reptiles and birds from mammals with the benefit of a hands-on wilderness experience.

Reporter Noelle Veillette can be reached at noelle@thebee.com.

An owl was among the special animal guests recently brought to Head O’ Meadow School by Assistant Director Trisha Kevalis of the Connecticut Audubon Society. Kindergartners could not touch the owl, but they were provided with feathers of other birds to supplement the experience along with permission to touch a box turtle and skink. Kevalis also is pictured left, using her hands to demonstrate for kindergartners how a frog might jump compared to the toad sitting inside a clear carrying container in front of the class.
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