That was amazing!! We arranged a Skype call with a Ranger from Yellowstone and it was a blast. I suspect that I am the one who enjoyed it the most of all. We found the connection on Skype For Education and the arrangements for our call were made quickly with little hassle. There are a few Rangers who speak with classes so be sure you have made a connection a few days earlier.
Our experience was with Ranger Tom. He greeted us from Mammoth Hot Springs, one of many sections in Yellowstone. We had focused our conversation in advance so we could all be on the same page. Our unit on Animals All Around Us brought us many conversations about how animals adapt to meet their changing needs throughout the year.
A group of children worked with me during interactive writing at the easel so we could craft a number of questions the morning of the call.
- Where are bears hibernating?
- Does a bear get cold?
- What do bunnies eat in the winter?
Ranger Tom showed us few pictures. First a giant grizzly bear which weighs as much as all of the children combined. He has a double coat of fur to keep him warm. He sleeps most of the winter as there is little food to eat.
We also saw a white snowshoe hare picture set against a field of snow. We knew the word for that was camouflage and that it kept the hare safe from predators. In the warmer weather, it’s coat changes to brown and again it can blend in with the landscape.
This call was so much fun that many of the children didn’t want to stop. They loved the attention they received while I was dreaming of the terraces at the hot springs that I recall from an earlier visit there.
I highly recommend that classrooms take advantage of this service provided by the National Park System. We learned a great deal and fueled an interest to learn more about nature and wildlife. The above are screen shots. Below are some from our side of the camera. Images were removed as permissions have changed.