Susan Steinman’s second-grade class at May Moore had the opportunity to take a virtual field trip, via Skype, to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West located in Cody, Wyoming, completing a cross-continental biology research survey.
The March 10 event was preceded by a classroom study of Long Island’s animal life. Library books, magazines and various child-friendly websites were used as resources for the students as they gathered information on local animals’ habitats, body types, life cycles, food sources and other fun facts. Using their sourced information, the second-graders then wrote nonfiction books that included introductions, tables of contents, diagrams and even a glossary. “Our focus was on learning how our animals adapt to their environments,” said Steinman.
As the lesson’s culminating activity, the May Moore students compared Long Island animals to the animals of Yellowstone National Park during the Skype session with the Buffalo Bill Center. The museum guide displayed slides of the park and virtually “walked” them through the Western animals’ natural habitats. Some of the students were able to share their reports with the guide as they compared their Long Island animal habitats to those in Yellowstone.
“This was a great learning experience for the students,” said Andrew Choi, Deer Park’s instructional technology administrator, who facilitated the Skype session along with computer lab teacher Michelle Artale and technician Brian Hession.