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Brazil Night at Big Cross highlights study of rainforests

photo of HS all county band musiciansAt right, third-graders Jovante Cabrera, Ella Tyree, Tiernan Talbot, Aayan Ashfaq, Tevyn Owira, Mayaa Vrooman, and Amyah Smith show off their Brazilian rainforest projects.

June 21, 2016 — "A jaguar's life span is 12 to 15 years. Is that cool or what?"

That exclamation—from third-grader Tiernan Talbot's report on the jaguar-- seems to sum up Big Cross elementary’s in-depth study of Brazil and the Amazon Rainforest: cool!

The third-grade curriculum spanned several weeks, and culminated with the third annual “Brazil Night” open house for families and friends to view the students’ hard work. (See a SLIDESHOW of Brazil projects HERE)

photo of staff and studentsThe cross-curricular study included learning about the musical significance of rain sticks and creating their own with music teacher Geri Teta in music class, researching and writing a report on a rainforest animal with Ellen Caffry during library/technology times, painting animal artwork with Debbie Sylvia, and completing many other class work research items and crafts.

This year, the expanded study included a look at the cities of Brazil, its economy, tourism, and other characteristics beyond the rainforest.

photo of students

"Piranhas' razor-sharp teeth protect them," wrote third-grader Alina, whose rain stick featured a Red Bellied Piranha bursting off the side, and real sea shells on the bottom.

“Brasilia is the capital of Brazil,” reported third-grader Aayan Ashfaq. “In Brazil, they were trying to figure out which city should be the capital of Brazil. Then they made a new city, Brasilia, and they said Brasilia should be the capital of Brazil… Brasilia is not only the seat of all three branches of the Brazilian government, the city hosts the headquarters of some Brazilian corporations as well.”

“The toucan has one adaptation that helps them survive,” wrote Mayaa Vrooman. “Their bill can help scare other birds away. The bright colors actually provide good camouflage. An interesting fact is there are about 41 species of toucan. Young toucans do not have a large bill at birth.”

Tevyn Owira studied the anaconda snake. “Anacondas usually live on the forest floor or sometimes in the understory,” he wrote. “Anacondas have a big appetite. They eat turtles, fish, deer, ducks, caimans, capybaras, pigs, and jaguars… Female anacondas are larger than males and that’s crazy! Anacondas can swim under the water for more than 10 minutes! And finally, an anaconda has 100 teeth inside its mouth. THAT’S CRAZY!!!!”

photo of Brazil project