Something Wild

Tropical treasures from the rain forest were on display for Persell Middle School students on Wednesday.

Officials from the Buffalo Zoo visited the school with the Tropical Treasures: Rainforest Discovery exhibit. The program delivered knowledge about the tropical rain forests using definitions, descriptions, audience participation and live animal presentations. Topics covered during the presentation included conservation, preservation, bio-diversity and ways people can help save the rain forests.

Mindy Trapani, Persell Middle School fifth-grade teacher, said they invited the zoo officials to go along with the classroom lessons the students have been learning about the rain forest habitat.

”We want them to share their expertise to support the (English language arts) module,” she said. ”This is a great way to see animals from the rain forest that they wouldn’t have a chance to see.”

Tim Anderson, Persell Middle School fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, said earlier this year students were given a presentation by Phil Cammarata, Persell Middle School principal, about his experience visiting a rain forest. Cammarata presented a slide show to fifth-graders as part of their English language arts rain forest module. Cammarata has visited the Amazon rain forest twice to visit his brother-in-law who owns a farm in the city of Juara, Mato Grosso in Brazil.

”This gives children an opportunity to see the lessons come to life,” he said. ”It is nice for them to get out of the classroom.”

The Buffalo Zoo officials displayed animal skins from snakes and a jaguar. Also, they showed skeleton heads like one from an anteater. Some of the living animals the students were able to see included a tortoise, a giant cockroach, a ball python and a poisonous dart frog.