We were excited to welcome five turtles to the UCCC community and eager to make our students part of their renaming process. (One turtle, Ninja, kept his original name). Each classroom brainstormed a list of names and ultimately submitted one for community voting. Children decorated voting boxes that were displayed in our gallery during the turtle welcome celebration and Literacy Night. All members of our community were invited to vote for their top choice. The four names with the most votes were selected: Fluffy, Icy Hawk, Pinky, and Toodles. The names reflect the imaginations of the young children in our Center and are truly a representation of UCCC.
The process of acquiring our turtles has created rich curricular opportunities for our teachers and students. Voting is a wonderful way to educate our students about the democratic process and to help promote openness and appreciation for the ideas of others. Many classrooms used nonfiction texts to learn about the care of turtles and other fun facts. Fictional titles such as Yertle the Turtle, The Foolish Tortoise, and the Franklin series offered an opportunity to explore how turtles are portrayed in literature. Children also created artistic representations, drew sketches, and recorded observations about the turtles. We look forward to incorporating our new residents into our curriculum many ways.
The turtles have already become a staple in the pick-up and drop-off routines of many of our children. Come visit our new reptilian friends!