Bright blue feet perched on top of jagged black rocks. Hundreds of little faces turned toward the sun soaking up rays with eyes closed. Lounging sea lions barely opening an eye as you walk by them on a lounge chair on the beach.
It feels like it was yesterday, instead of four years ago, that I traveled to the Galapagos Islands. Teaming with unique and endangered wildlife the islands were unlike any place I have ever been. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and I have loved sharing what I learned there with students over the last few years.
Not too long after I returned home from my trip I found an awesome book, World Wonders The Galapagos Islands. It is chock full of information about the islands, the animals, and the history of the islands. It also comes with a code that unlocks videos and other interactive elements that go along with the book. It was a great resource to use with students as we explored animals from the Galapagos.
Since finding, The Galapagos Islands, I have added a few more resources of my own to help make the animals of the Galapagos come alive for students. Besides the plethora of pictures and short video clips I took while traveling, I have now put together a small informational text for students to read, Travel Adventures With Ms. White Animals of the Galapagos Islands. It finally dawned on me, duh, take individual pictures and stories and take it to the next level.
Besides connecting to the curriculum in social studies (exploring the seven continents), and science (animals and their habitats), a small book would allow students to practice reading skills of informational texts. I created some worksheets to go along with the text so students could also practice mining the text for information. Really it is a win all around.
Creating the informational text reinforced how much traveling is important for teachers. Not only does sharing my experiences make me excited to teach, I am coming to students from a place of knowledge. I haven’t just read about these animals in a book, or watched them in a video, I have actually been there, observed them in their natural habitat and asked questions to guides to learn more. This empowers me to come back to the classroom ready to share what I have learned with students.
As we continue our tour around the world in science and social studies this year, I can’t wait to use my new small book with students!