Monday, May 20, 2013

Third Graders "Hangout" with Zoo Atlanta

We had our first Google Hangout in May and it was an incredible experience!  A third grade teacher, Mrs. Crowley, came into the library one day wanting to arrange a Skype with her students before the end of the year.  They were just finishing the Newbery winner, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate so I thought we might try to Skype with the Atlanta Zoo, where the real Ivan lived for part of his life.  Unfortunately, Zoo Atlanta said that they were not doing Skypes at this time, but would let us know if something changed.  Well, a couple of weeks later, I received an email that invited our students to a Google Hangout. Hmmm, I had heard of a Google Hangout, but had never done one, so I quickly started looking for people to "hangout" with!  :)  

I went to the Zoo Atlanta YouTube channel and saw how cool it was!  I couldn't wait for our students to have this experience!  Not only would they be talking to people at the zoo, but they would also see and hear classes from other parts of the country.  The students prepared questions and we submitted those to the zoo officials before the hangout began.  Mrs. Crowley's and Mrs. Vestal's third graders came to the library and anxiously waited for our "hangout" to begin.  After introductions were made, students were able to hear from Ivan's caretaker at the zoo.  

The students listened intently to Carvel, the education instructor with Zoo Atlanta, as well as Jodi Carrigan, who took care of Ivan for the past 10 years.  It was fascinating to hear about the "real" Ivan and what his life was like at the zoo.  

We even got to see one of his paintings!

Here is the entire Hangout where you can see some of our Curtis students ask questions! Our students are in the sixth tile at the bottom.  :) In addition to the classes that were shown, many other classes across the country watched the live feed of the hangout!  We can't wait to try this again!

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