SQUIRREL TRIES TO JOIN KINDERGARTEN, FAILS
Last time I checked there are no squirrels enrolled in kindergarten. But today a squirrel tried to change that. As kindergarten was walking down the hall panic ensued as a squirrel burst through the front door. A source in the KES office called classes for them to close the doors to keep the squirrel away from classes. Sources say that kindergarteners were running around as janitors had nets to capture and release the wanna-be student. There is no current report of bites or the squirrel having rabies. The squirrel was released after capture safely. Sorry buddy but no squirrels in kindergarten.
- Jonah D. Relles
Fifth graders in Geneve Patterson/Susan Hirsch’s class were on a tear, flash-writing news reports about the scene they had just witnessed. Just as they had been wrapping up their book clubs, Ms. Patterson received a call from the main office—there was a squirrel loose in one of the kindergarten classrooms!
Ms. Hirsch suggested that the students write news stories about the squirrel in school, even though the class hadn’t started their journalism unit yet. Katonah-Lewisboro elementary teachers are always on the look-out for engaging opportunities like this! She was referring to the upcoming section of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project which guides students in conveying the who, what, where, and when of a situation with a sense of drama.
A phone call
Students share their stories
A fun assignment
The students’ eyes danced above their masks, perhaps imagining kindergarteners in chaos and custodians shooing the squirrel down the hallway with nets on sticks like hockey players dribbling a puck towards the goal.
“Journalists stick to the facts,” cautioned Ms. Patterson. “Write only what you know.” Students in the room and on Zoom asked her questions about the phone call. Mrs. Patterson recapped the facts on a screen all could see.
The students were quickly immersed in writing, and there was time for a half-dozen students to share their news stories aloud.
Only then did Ms. Patterson reveal the truth. There was no squirrel in school.
She and Ms. Hirsch had staged the incident to kick off the journalism unit with extra excitement.
“I knew it!” said one student emphatically, although most of his classmates seemed very surprised by the turn of events.
Ms. Patterson held up a small red notebook labeled Reporter’s Notebook. “In the next few days, each one of you will receive a notebook like this so you can record what you notice around school while the event is fresh in your mind,” she said. “There are a lot of real things happening at Katonah Elementary, too!”