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Davis Journal

Friendly snakes slither into class to help kids learn

Apr 01, 2021 01:44PM ● By Becky Ginos

NORTH SALT LAKE—First graders at Orchard Elementary got up close and personal with snakes, turtles, scorpions and even a tarantula when Scales and Tails came to visit last week.

“It’s two fold,” said first grade teacher Stephanie Cable. “In our reading units there is a section on animals and for science they want us to teach about the food, water and shelter that allows them to survive in the area and external body features that help them survive.”

Cable said they also teach about baby animals and how they look like their parents. “We show them that they look similar to their parents but different, just like we look like our mom or dad but we’re not the same.”

The teachers talk to the children about animals that help each other too. “For example, the zebra and wildebeest hang out together and protect each other,” she said. “We also talk about how animals can be trained to help people and we learn about insects and the life cycle of the butterfly.” 

Scales and Tails travels to different schools bringing a variety of animals. “We try to have them come when we’re learning this so it all ties together,” said Cable. “They bring whatever like amphibians and reptiles and they have information on what they bring. They talked about a tortoise’s claw and how the scorpion has a big claw that it uses to attack their prey.” 

Animals are lovable by kids, she said. “The kids had to write a report about an animal they like. It gets them excited to learn.”

The fun part is the kids get to touch the animals, especially the snake, Cable said. “It’s one of their favorites. One little girl didn’t want to touch the snake but I convinced her to touch it with me so she did it. I’ve touched more snakes in my lifetime than I thought I ever would.”