Today Village Adventist Elementary School is doing my all time favorite videoconference: Magnificent Manatees from the Columbus Zoo. I love this program because of all the hands-on activities students do during the videoconference.
The class measures a paper cutout of the manatee (mailed ahead of time to the class) to help them understand the full size of the manatee. You can see it on the wall in the back of the classroom.
The students also all get on a bathroom scale until they have enough students add up to the weight of a manatee at the zoo. You can see the students lined up at the scale in the picture. This is a group of 1st and 2nd graders, so they aren’t adding all the numbers. However I’ve seen this program with older students where the presenter asks all the students to add the weights of all the students.
Next the partners work with a set of pictures showing the types of food that the manatee eats. The students have to pick out the foods they eat from the pictures.
Several great activities, lots of information for the students, and wonderful live footage of the manatees swimming in their tank. These features make this program an excellent choice. The Columbus Zoo is VERY popular. This school year (2005-2006) they filled the whole year schedule by mid September. They open registration for the 2006-2007 school year on June 1. So plan ahead!