Students learn about ecosystem; create book

PLYMOUTH — The second graders at Washington Elementary know a thing or two about their environment, and they are about to use that knowledge to publish a children’s book.
The subject of the book is the Yellow River—specifically, the animals that live in and around the river. Second grade teachers Brooke Busse, Alice Huff, and Terri Bair will be assisting their students over the next four weeks in researching different types of animals. The student’s findings will be placed in a book, that, after publication, will be displayed around the city of Plymouth for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Bob Yoder, Marshall County Purdue Extension educator and Mike Hite, Plymouth Park director, visited Washington Elementary Monday morning to introduce the students to the Yellow River’s ecosystem.
“I bet you guys know what lives down at the river better than I do,” said Yoder jokingly.
Student’s hands flew up all around the room as they suggested different animals that might make their home in the river. Fish, deer, skunks, crawfish, mosquitos, raccoons, and spiders all made their way to the chalkboard as Yoder added each suggestion to his drawing of the Yellow River. He drew the line, however, when someone suggested adding bears to the picture.
“Do we have a lot of bears here in Marshall County?” asked Yoder, pausing in his presentation.
“No!” chorused the students in unison.
“Good, you guys had me scared for a minute,” joked Yoder, prompting laughter from students and adults in the room.
After compiling quite a list of animals, Yoder walked around the room and showed the students a laminated poster of a river ecosystem. Students pointed out the animals they had just discussed.
Busse said that the second graders will work on collecting detailed information about the animals of the Yellow River, including their diet and habitat. The book will be created online and then published in hard copies.
“I think it went very well,” said Yoder of the morning’s presentation. “It’s nice to see that the youth in our community do have a good understanding of our ecosystem. I’m looking forward to (seeing) their hard work.”
Hite said that copies of the book would be available in locations such as the library and the park office.
“We will try to always have copies available for people,” said Hite.