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5th grade invasion!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

For four days this week we’ll be having 100+ fifth grade students from Ocean Springs each day to learn about the refuge and the cranes. 

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 20122

Since this school has been coming here each spring with their fifth graders for over twenty years, it’s quite an organized affair.  I believe all teachers and their classes rotate through this outing over the four days.  Today I had the music teacher at my station to help with ‘crowd control’.


The school provides three stations of their own leaving us with only two stations to present.  The teachers do the nature walk, an art project, and one other station (I’ll get details on that one tomorrow).  That leaves us with crane biology and fire stations.  I have done environmental education with school groups at many of the refuges I’ve volunteered at, but this experience both last year and this year is the only example where the school involved actually takes charge of the four hour outing.  How refreshing is that?  Usually teachers just chit chat and don’t get involved in what’s going on.  Not at this school!  They have ownership of what happens on this field trip, and in my opinion it makes for a much better experience for the students.

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 20123

I had five presentations scheduled on crane biology.  I enjoy interacting with this age group, so I was really pumped for the first group.  A little later in the afternoon, I was a bit drained.  Diana watched a couple of the presentations, and then felt comfortable enough to jump in and do the first part of the program. (Thank goodness)  One of the activities at our station is to get the students to dance like the cranes.  What a hoot this is!  When you work with 11 year olds, you can ham it up all you want and really draw them in to getting into pretending they are dancing MS Sandhill Cranes.

One little girl said, “You don’t have wings!”  My reply was, “Oh yes I do in my mind!  Come fly with me.”  Uff-dah!  By the end of the day, I was dripping wet from the heat and all that dancing.  Confused smile  It’s a good kind of exhaustion though…

_MG_7603 _MG_7598

Back at the ranch, Mrs. Eastern towhee came by the Hard Rock Bird Café for a snack late this afternoon. 


                                                 Mr. Towhee kept vigil as his sweetie dined.  Winking smile

I had to come in a little earlier this evening as I wasn’t up to personally feeding the swarming mosquitoes.  Two more days of the invading fifth graders before my son, Andy, and his family arrive.  I hope I don’t lose my voice by then…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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