Don't be S-s-scared...First Grade Studies Snakes!

First graders hold python, Cinderella, with the help of Mr. Brophy, our snake expert! For the past three months, DAA first graders have been studying slithery, scaly snakes! Our goal for this expedition was that students would learn to be scientists by aspiring to to be young herpetologists—scientists who study snakes and other reptiles. Students have been using scientific inquiry to learn the truth about these reptiles with the world. We've studied their features, behaviors, habitats, and interesting facts. At first, we focused primarily on the corn snake. For the second part of our expedition, students are choosing their own snakes to study and write a page for our clue book, What Snake Am I? These books will be published and shared, thanks to the generous grant from The Work of Art!

All of this wouldn't have been possible without the expertise and support of our herpetologist, Michael Brophy! Mr. Brophy brought in over 10 different species of snakes so that first graders could observe snakes in action, ask questions about their characteristics, compare similarities and differences...and even hold a few of the snakes! Check out his presentations at!

On December 18, we did field work at the Detroit Zoo to allow students to further their knowledge and cultivate their curiosity (one of our DAA Habits of Character) about snakes! Students observed over 20 species of snakes and recorded their observations about their favorite species' characteristics. Students will spend the next few weeks writing their pages for the clue book and creating technical drawings of their snake species. Our book will be published on January 24th and shared at our FIRST EVER Celebration of Learning at DAA--an expo-style event where students will share their learning and final work products with their families and our community. We've has a s-s-super time s-s-studying snakes!

First graders at the Detroit Zoo reptile house!