Friday, July 22, 2011


I love how it works, when we are following an interest and open to the learning opportunities around us, suddenly the connections between things just pop out of the woodwork.

A few weeks ago, we went to the river with a friend and she wisely reminded the kids to "watch out for rattle snakes" beneath the rocks and in the bushes. I told the kids about the time that I was nearly bitten by a rattlesnake when I was about 10 years old. Then a few days ago, we saw the new movie Rango, which has a big, scary rattlesnake in it. E was scared of it at first, but like with most things that scare her, she wants to experience it again and again and have me sit with her and explain it until the fear of it is gone. So we watched that part of the movie several times. That led to watching youtube videos of snakes of all kinds- rattlers, baby rattlers, anacondas, and pythons. Then on Saturday, we went to the fair parade and a woman was carrying a python on her shoulders, so the girls got to see and pet that.

Over the course of those weeks, we talked about safety around snakes, how venom works, how constrictors kill their prey, how antivenom works, what it means to milk a snake for it's venom, where different types of snakes live and many other topics. Of course, each thing led to something else- like discussing rodents while watching an anaconda devour a capybara and discussing reproduction while watching a rattlesnake give birth.

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