Classroom Habitats

In elementary science students study many topics. One major focus across the grade levels is the study of plants and animals. As students progress from grade to grade the focus increases complexity building upon their knowledge from previous years.

Kindergartners study how plants and animals are alike and different in how they look and the things they do. First graders construct explanations using evidence to show how all living things need basic necessities of air, water, food, and space. Second graders take what they learned previously and expand on their knowledge of living things by studying life cycles. Third grade students focus on classifying plants and animals into major groups such as mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, etc. Fourth grade focuses on Florida plant and animals.  They study topics such as food chains, animal's impacts on their environment and heredity. Lastly, fifth graders focus their learning on changes in the environment and how this affects animal populations and the adaptations animals have they enable them to survive. 

To help students interact with this knowledge and to engage them in a more meaningful way we have several habitats in the classroom. The classroom is home to an aquatic turtle habitat and two large freshwater aquariums.

Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles

The pink-bellied side-necked turtle (Emydura subglobosa) is an excellent community turtle. They have longer necks than a typical turtle and as a result they do not pull their neck and head into their shell, but instead wrap their neck and head around their body under their shell.  These turtles can grow to 10 inches in length and live for 30 to 50 years. We have two Pink Bellies, Buzz and Woody, in our habitat.  The turtles help to engage the students in their studies.

This is Woody...
Woody the Turtle 

This is Buzz...
Buzz the Turtle

This is their habitat:
Turtle Habitat

Freshwater Aquariums

38 gallon aquarium
South American Convict Cichlids  
38 gallon aquarium
Convict Cichlid

65 gallon aquarium
Assorted African Cichlids
65 gallon aquarium
65 gallon aquarium 2