On Wednesday, August 20th, we had some special visitors at school, Mr. Mike the Reptile Guy and The Reptile Experience! Mr. Mike brought with him 5 reptile friends for us to learn about and to meet up close.
First, we met a Greek tortoise named Zorba. The children and Mr. Mike talked about how tortoises have no teeth and that they are different from turtles because they cannot swim. Tortoises are turtles that live on land! Mr. Mike also told us that while Zorba is a Greek tortoise, our classroom tortoises are Russian tortoises and come from southern Russia.
Next up was the spiky tail lizard named Sahara. The lizard is from Africa and the children loved getting to feel the tail and watching Sahara try to hide under Mr. Mike.
After Sahara was safely tucked away, Mr. Mike unveiled a knotted up blue pillowcase… and from it, he brought out a ball python named Ms. Butters. Ms. Butters gets her name from her coloring. When it was time to put Ms. Butters away, Mr. Mike carefully tied up the blue pillowcase again so that she wouldn’t escape and hide in our classroom.
After learning about Ms. Butters, the children got a chance to hold her. Many took advantage of the opportunity!
Following the ball python, Mr. Mike introduced us to Melvin, the blue tongued skink. We learned that skinks are a mix of lizards and snakes. Skinks can even tuck their legs away and slither just like snakes!
After we learned about skinks, we had a chance to hold Melvin and he even licked our noses!
For the grand finale, Mr. Mike brought out Peaches… a Burmese python! Peaches is only a few years old and currently weighs a little more than 20 pounds, but she could grow to be much larger. Peaches was born in Mr. Mike’s basement, along with her 19 brothers and sisters. Peaches and her mom still live in Mr. Mike’s basement. We also learned that while Peaches is a yellow color, most Burmese pythons are more brown and white, so that they can hide easily in the wild.
After learning about Peaches, Mr. Mike gave us a chance to touch Peaches and then to hold her if we wanted. The children and Ms. Gay were very brave and let Mr. Mike wrap Peaches all around them. After watching them, I even got brave enough to do it, despite my serious fear of snakes! After everyone had a turn, the children helped Mr. Mike put Peaches away for her trip back home.
Later in the afternoon, I asked some of the children to share with me their favorite thing about having Mr. Mike and The Reptile Experience at school.
Hazel: “The big yellow snake because it was big.”
Isla: “I liked that we got to wrap the snake around us and the animals were squishy.”
Francis: “I liked the big huge lemon snake.”
Audon: “I liked when the lizard licked my nose. It felt soft.”
Ruby: “Petting the snakes because the snakes feel good because they’re squishy.”
The top two moments were when Melvin licked our noses and getting to wrap Peaches around our necks. The children did a great job during the presentation staying calm and quiet, and Mr. Mike was impressed with not only their knowledge about reptiles but also with the great questions they asked. Mr. Mike and The Reptile Experience was an amazing educational presentation and we will definitely have him and his friends visit LHMS again!