A pond is created by meteorites, volcanoes, glaciers, earthquakes or by humans creating a depression or hole in the ground. A vast amount of pond critters reside in these ponds and second and third grade students of Biggs Elementary School were able to spend a day at third grade teacher Tammie Loftin's 60 acre spread to learn not only about the critters but much, much more.
The Lone Tree Ranch had ten different stations set up where small groups of the 50 students traveled through to learn many different aspects of the outdoors.
A field guide was distributed to each student where they were able to paint a pond, identify pond critters and learn about water buoyancy. "The Lorac," was described by Loftin's husband, retired teacher Bill Bynum, who thoroughly enjoys this day of the year. Students learned what floated in the pond and what did not. They even get to ride around the pond in a small boat. The students don't realize it, but the pond is so shallow they could actually stand up in it. Students were sent on a game of "I Spy," where they looked for a nest, an American Coot, a Meadowlark and Egret, a fox hole, lilly pads and a beaver lodge.
This habitat for all things wild even brings in pelicans, Canadian Geese, pied billed Grebes, belted kingfishers, green Herons, cinnamon teal, mallards, moorhens, bats and owls.
Students were given drawings of twelve footprints or tracks of a heron, sandpiper, goose, otter, muskrat, raccoon, beaver, fox, deer, turtle, bullfrog and dog. They were asked to match the tracks of the animals by writing the names of each in a rectangle, such as a panther, a fox, field mouse, wolf, as part of the "Let's Make Tracks," station.
This truly is a learning experience as the children are asked to answer questions such as, "Does a beaver freeze when the water is cold or frozen?" "How do a beaver's toes help the animal to survive?" and "Name some animals that might be attracted to an area after beavers have moved in."
For the "I Spy," game, students were given a card that was similar to Bingo in that the squares are pictures of muskrats, snakes, snails, dragonflies, minnows and footprints. The first to fill their card is instructed to yell, "Springo!"
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the May 17, 2013 issue of the Gridley Herald.