Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Skyenimals - Animal Themed In School Field Trip

Animal Themed In School Field Trip

Recently my wife and I had the pleasure of presenting Skyenimals to two grade school classrooms in our local community. Our presentation was an "in class field trip" with a short presentation mixed with an animal themed activity. The visit was designed to be educational and to encourage learning, art and imagination.

The imagination and energy in a grade school classroom full of motivated boys and girls is truly amazing. Kudos to grade school teachers everywhere, and especially to our hosts Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Bluhm. Thank you!

Wow (Whale + Cow)
The presentation part of the visit included an overview of Skyenimals. Including why the web site is named "Skye"-Nimals, What are Skyenimals and the Skyenimals books. The presentation also covered basics of web safety and an overview of how a web site is built and what makes it work. The presentation is interactive and the students are encouraged to ask questions. Of course, it doesn't take much encouragement for questions to start coming from these inquisitive minds!

After the presentation the activity started. To get the ideas flowing animal photo and fact cards were passed out to all the children. Each student took two or three animal cards to get ideas of what type of animal mix (Skyenimal) they might want to create. The students were each given 4x6" index cards for drawing their creations on. (The index cards make it convenient for us to scan all the creations in and upload them quickly to the web site.)

Students talked among themselves and with the teachers and presenters about what they were going to create, sharing their ideas with their friends and neighbors as they went. Animal stencils were also provided for students who preferred stenciling over free hand drawing.

The students were given ample time to complete their artwork. Some students completed one, some drew two or three Skyenimals. When the drawings were done the kids named the new species they created by combining the two (or more) animal names.

Shalligator (Shark + Alligator)
After the activities were over students turned in their work, and received some prizes for them to bring home. (A set of Skyenimals bookmarks, animal erasers, stickers, etc.) We also donated a Stuffed Zurtle to the teachers to keep as a class "pet".

Looking for an affordable (FREE!) in school field trip idea? Do you teach or attend a grade school in the Chicago Suburbs? Look no further. Contact the Skyenimals team at to inquire about a free Skyenimals in school field trip for your class! Please let us know if you have any special requests. We can also bring in our pet Bearded Dragon for the class to view.

Click on the images below to view all the artwork from Mrs. Smith's and Mrs. Bluhm's classes!
Skyenimals by students of Mrs. Smith's 2012-2013 class.
Skyenimals by students of Mrs. Bluhm's 2012-2013 class.
Note about the Skyenimals Owners, Jeff and Kim Slater: Jeff is a life long computer programmer with a BS in Math and Computer Science from University of Illinois who started programming in middle school and has never stopped. Kim is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with an MS in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas. Kim specializes in family and adolescent mental health counseling. Kim is the owner of A New Path Counseling in Naperville, Illinois. Jeff and Kim have three children, Kevin, Justin and Skye, that range in age from 10 to 16. They currently have two goldendoodles (Bailey and Ruby), a cat (Abbey), a fish, two birds, two hamsters and a bearded dragon for pets.

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