OMES second graders present Talking Zoo

OMES second graders presented a Talking Zoo in their classrooms on May 15. (Contributed)

OMES second graders presented a Talking Zoo in their classrooms on May 15. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—The second grade classrooms at Oak Mountain Elementary School were a zoo on May 15, as students showed off their hard work during a Talking Zoo presentation.

Classrooms were transformed into zoos with second grade students dressed up as animals across the world, from cockatoos to penguins to Tasmanian devils. As parents, teachers and fellow students toured the classrooms, the second graders acted and presented information about their chosen animal.

“The students had the freedom to pick any animal they wanted to research, whatever they find fascinating,” OMES second grade teacher Sara Askew said. “We had animals in every single habitat.”

Hundreds of visitors stopped by each second grade classroom during the one-hour Talking Zoo presentation.

“In my class alone, we had over 200 visitors,” Askew said. “We did (the Talking Zoo) for one hour, I thought by the end they would be exhausted, but they were so alive at the end of it. So proud of themselves, and they should be.”

In addition to the memorized presentations, the students wrote essays about their chosen animals. They conducted extensive research using multiple sources, including library books and iPad resources.

“My students used graphic organizers,” Askew said, explaining her students took multiple steps to collect, organize and supplement their research.

The project was not only fun, it also strengthened students’ reading, writing, research and presentation skills.

“It’s a life skill they can take with them,” Askew said.

The students also enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their research and work.

“What they liked most was being able to share their hard work with everyone else,” Askew said. “It was a really neat way to showcase their learning… they blew me out of this world!”