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John Paulding Animal Habitat

Pandas, leopards, lemurs – just a few of the animals that found a new home at John Paulding when kindergarten students created replicas of habitats, now displayed in their school.

Not only did the students research the geography and environment, each class adopted an animal through the World Wildlife Federation and received a certificate, book and plush toy.

“I have been doing this personally for 15 years,” said teacher Pat Buckley. “I think the students absolutely loved it. It became personal. They named the animal and studied what they need to live and how to take care of the earth.”

The Foundation for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns provided funding for the materials to create the habitats and a mini-grant from the Elementary School PTA allowed the school to partner with the Wildlife Federation.

Students say they enjoyed working together to build the habitat and learning fun facts about the animals.

This STEAM Project (Science, Technology, Art and Mathematics) involved research and writing as the teams planned their habitats. “There was collaboration between students, using what they already learned and then creating and interpreting,” said teacher Xiomara Kluge.