Country View first graders learn about animal adaptations in virtual field trip

From right, Country View Elementary School first grader Ava Whitely grabs a bean from a box as Verona Area High School student Ellie Gerndt teaches how different size beaks are used for different nutritional needs during a "virtual field trip" where high school students led activities based on animal adaptions for their elementary school peers on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

For some Country View Elementary School first graders, dipping their hands covered in Crisco in ice water, or building nests with Verona Area High School students, is as close as they’ve gotten to ever having a field trip.

Students from Liz Lauer-Jones’ first grade classroom had a virtual field trip to Country View’s step room on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 23, where they capped off a science unit learning about animal adaptations such as why polar bears have blubber, or why birds have different-sized beaks. As a part of the virtual field trip, Verona Area High School students from Matthew Tiller’s class joined them for activities where they got to see what having blubber might feel like, or seeing how a beak might be more advantageous than another for picking up a worm.

Organized by high school technology coordinator Rita Mortenson, the district has been doing “virtual field trips” since before the pandemic where high school and elementary students interacted with one another. But during the 2020-21 school year, COVID-19 prevented the students from doing any field trips, meaning those who are now first graders this year have yet to experience a school field trip if they didn’t have them in 4K. 


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