Third Grade Discovers New Animals in Science Class

Watch out for the Lio-pol-sha-ondor-rattlesnake or the Atoo-ele-sha-opus-stingray! Regis third grade students discovered new animals last week when they created their "wild self" in science class. The students ventured upstairs to the middle school computer lab for this special project with Mrs. Jonna McGhee, Regis Third Grade Science Teacher. "We're learning about inherited traits in science, which is really fun!" said Jack Long, third grade student.

In the lab, students hopped onto computers and navigated to, a program created by the New York Zoos and Aquarium Wildlife Conservation Society to help children learn about animal traits and adaptations. "This is the first time I've done this project... It's really cool how it tells you what the adaptation is you selected and what you might use that for," said Mrs. McGhee.

Students chose from a variety of different animal ears, eyes, snouts, tusks, horns, arms, legs, tails and wings to create their "wild self." Each student created a unique animal with different traits suited for living in specific environments. "I like snakes and I like flying things. That's why I chose the bat wings," said Mateo Chamness. Nicolas Gutierrez added horns to his animal, "so it can fight tigers and jaguars," he said. "It's an omnivore. He even eats nuts and insects."

Once back in the classroom, the students wrote up descriptions of their animals and discussed the special characteristics they included when making their "wild self."

Daniel Bennett created the Lio-pol-sha-ondor-rattlesnake, a cross between a lion, polar bear, sand tiger shark, California condor, and a timber rattlesnake. Daniel described his animal:

"My animal is very, very scary. You would run if you saw it from 6 miles away. My animal gets warm by using its ears. My animal can sneak up on you like a cheetah hunting. My animal has sharp teeth for gripping prey to hunt. My animal has big wings to fly away from predators to keep itself safe. My animal's tail helps it move places quickly and to choke prey."

Jackson Moore created the Pea-ho-sha-octo-antula-bird, a cross between a peacock, red river hog, sand tiger shark, octopus, Indian ornamental tarantula, and lesser bird of paradise. In his description, Jackson wrote "Danger, Danger, Stay away!" from his animal.

Calvin Meaux wrote his Atoo-ele-sha-opus-stingray, "look[s] very weird but it is dangerous. It's dangerous because of its DNA that is mixed up with other animals that have good defense." His animal is a cross between the palm cockatoo, Asian elephant, sand tiger shark, nurse shark, octopus, and cownose ray.

When asked if they enjoyed this project, the students all gave a resounding, "yes!" This project is a keeper!