My son’s fourth grade class is learning about animal classification, so I offered to bring in Snowball.
As Snowball sat in my lap, I talked about chickens to twenty rapt (and I must say, very well-behaved) 10 year-olds. Snowball loves to be held and stroked. She fell asleep! The children learned new vocabulary, including herbivore, omnivore and wildlife corridor (which is where the predators travel.) We talked about egg-laying. But the thing that they found most fascinating was that birds don’t pee! It all comes out in one blob. Luckily, though, Snowball didn’t give them an example.
The kids asked interesting questions, like how does a bird drink (think about it, if you are familiar with your pet dog lapping at a water bowl, you would wonder about how a bird does it.) Snowball was offered a cup of water and showed them how she dips her head and tilts back to swallow.
Everyone got to pet her. Everyone was smiling. And Snowball was one contented bird.