Amazing Animal Adaptations & Marvellous Mr Miller


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in ICT, Skype, Units of Inquiry | Posted on April 7, 2016

In the last week of Term 1, three of our classes (5D, 5G & 4/5B) participated in a Skype call with Mr Miller from Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Wyoming, USA.

It was an amazing hour filled with lots of information and objects we would never have been able to see without the use of technology. We had a tour of the museum – whilst we sat in our classroom! Mr Miller walked around the museum showing us different artefacts and teaching us new things about animal adaptations as part of our inquiry unit. We learnt about grizzly bears, moose, raptors, beavers, wolves – just to name a few.




Here are some comments from our student Skypers:


Mr Miller took us around the museum and told us about animal adaptations, including grizzly bears can eat 20 000 – 40 000 moths a day and buffalo and goat horns are made out of the same stuff as our fingernails. Everyone enjoyed it! Jenaya

If you hike in an area with grizzly bears you have to take a special spray so they don’t attach you. Matt

We are so thankful that you did a Skype call with us. You taught us so much about animal adaptations. I hope we can talk again soon! Brodie

Bighorn sheep have a hollow chamber between two slabs of bone in the skull which acts as an airbag when they clash heads in a fight. I also learnt that raptors have sharp talons, hooked beaks and amazing eye sight which lets them spot a mouse from a whole mile away! Jemma.

It was awesome and now I know a lot more about animals and their adaptations. Kash

A beaver can block its ears so water doesn’t get in there.

I only have eight sticky notes left because I took so many notes! April

Bighorn sheep have their brains far back in their skull so they don’t get brain damage from ramming. Ethan

Bears have sharp claws to protect themselves from other animals and also to climb trees. Phoebe

George told us that our fingernails are made from the same thing as moose, rhino, ram and buffalo horns. It was an extraordinary experience. Milla

I wish I knew as much as you Mr Miller! Tom


We found out about the virtual field trip through Microsoft Education’s Skype in the Classroom website. We thank all the people who run the website and the people like George and Lauren who give up their time to educate people all around the world.

We wonder where we will visit next!


What adaptation do you find the most interesting? Why?


If you could ask Mr Miller a question about animal adaptations, what would it be?


Sharks & Skype


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Units of Inquiry | Posted on March 1, 2016

This morning started out like any other…until the Grade 6s found themselves talking to a shark expert in America as part of their unit of inquiry.

It may have been Tuesday 1st March in Australia, but it was still February over in Colorado, America! Through the wonderful Skype in the Classroom Virtual Field Trip website we were able to make contact with Lauren from Ocean First Institute.




The Grade 6s are currently learning about animal adaptations and Lauren was able to give them some new information. We are very grateful for the opportunity to hear from Lauren and appreciate the photos, video and shark jaws and teeth she shared.











Not the best photo, but these are shark teeth.


After the Skype call, students used the notes taken to write about their new knowledge. You can read some of their writing below:


Are you scared of sharks or think they are hurting people? Well we’re hurting them more than they are hurting us. Did you know you are more likely to be killed by lighting than a shark attack? Sharks are endangered and if you want to help you’re going to need learn about sharks.

Did you know the world is exactly 71% water and sharks are in every part of it? There are over 500 hundred species of sharks covering every ocean and sea. Here are just a few of these amazing species, hammerhead shark, great white shark, mako shark, velvet belly and whale sharks. These are all very different species and each has a different way of living.

Each shark has its own unique ability. The mako shark can swim up to 50 miles/80.4672 kilometres per hour. That’s fast! The hammer head shark smells its prey and sways its head to whichever side the smell is stronger on. The whale shark has a unique ability as it filter feeds, filter feeding means it filters plankton into its mouth.

Camouflage is another needed ability for slow sharks or small sharks, like the velvet belly whose belly glows, so to predators below it looks like the moon light or sunlight. Another glowing fish is the mega mouth that has a big florescent strip just above its mouth which lures fish to a close distance so the mega mouth can catch them. Another camouflage is counter shading which the great white uses. Its back is blue and the belly is white which makes it look like sunlight from fish looking up and sea water from fish looking down. Carpet fish also use camouflage in a great way. The carpet fish looks like coral so when a fish swims by it just thinks its coral until it leaps up and eats it!

Some things are very important to most sharks like teeth. Sharks have adapted to having five rows or more of teeth. Did you know a shark loses 30 000 to 50 000 teeth through its lifetime?  Another thing all sharks need is water going through their gills. To do this, they must continue to move so to sleep they only turn off half their brain so they keep moving. All sharks have a sixth sense which allows them to detect electricity coming off other animals, some sharks use it less than others as some live in murky water.

This is just some new information we learnt from Lauren Rieger through a Skype call. Now we hope you have learnt that sharks are amazing and not at all dangerous to humans. We think that humans should take better care of our marine life!

By Benjamin H and William F (6W)


There are 500 species of shark and they come in all shapes and sizes.

On 1st March we had a Skype lesson with the marine biologist Lauren Rieger who told us about sharks.

Great whites lunge at their pray with great speed and to protect their eyes they roll their eyes back into their eye sockets.

Goblin sharks are unusual. They have a very long nose. Impressed? No? Well, this next part is impressive…their jaws can expand as long as their noses to catch their pray. Now that’s impressive!

Hammerhead sharks are the latest shark discovered in the ocean. Hammerhead sharks have nine different varieties of heads from boomerang to shovel to hammer.

Sharks are awesome and because of Lauren we were able to learn more about them.

By Dean (6W)


We would like to thank Lauren for an amazing Skype call filled with the perfect combination of videos, pictures and props. We would also like to thank her for answering many questions and sharing her vast knowledge of sharks with us. It’s not everyday you speak to someone on the other side of the world, let alone someone who knows so much about sharks.


What do you still want to learn about sharks?

Where should we go for our next virtual field trip?

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