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Wild animals visit La Vista Middle 7th graders as part of ecosystem lesson

7th graders hold a snake in class

(7th graders get a chance to hold a boa constrictor during science class)

Wildlife Encounters visited 7th grade La Vista Middle students to allow them to get up close and personal with wild animals to learn more about our natural world. The students were able to learn about an alligator, boa constrictor, lemur, and more.

Kayla Henery, a science teacher at LVMS, brought Wildlife Encounters to the school thanks to a Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation teacher grant. Henery's grant was named "Animals, Ecosystems & Science, Oh My!"

Students were able to pet a lemur

(Students look at a lemur in the arms of Kayla Henery)

The visit from Wildlife Encounters coincided with what the 7th graders are learning in class. They were in the middle of learning about ecosystems, organism interactions, and relationships between various biomes. The students have learned about different types of biomes as well as some animals/plants who have adapted to survive and thrive in specific environments. 

"Six out of the seven continents were represented by the creatures that visited us which allowed the kids an amazing opportunity to see animals that have fully adapted to various biomes," Henery explained.

The students had a basic knowledge on each organism that was going to be presented, Henery said.

Student holds an alligator

(7th grader Reese Kinsella holds an alligator) 

"They were allowed to hold, touch, and interact with each animal. Every animal tells a different story through their outer appearances, distinguished characteristics, and diverse personalities. The students were able to explain how each creature’s adaptations were beneficial to its specific environment. While they thought they were simply interacting with animals, we as educators, were putting their knowledge to the test and they all passed with flying colors," she said.

Wildlife Encounters is a Gretna based non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is dedicated to educating the public about our natural world while offering a home for animals in need.