Stamford First-Graders Dig In To Creature Creation Projects

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Springdale Elementary School principal Anne Downey and first-grader Kitana Taylor show off one of the displays at the Stamford school’s Creature Creation Museum.
Springdale Elementary School principal Anne Downey and first-grader Kitana Taylor show off one of the displays at the Stamford school’s Creature Creation Museum. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford student Kitana Taylor shyly but proudly showed the zebra she had created for Springdale Elementary School’s Creature Creation Museum.

“I like zebras. I have one at home,” she said Tuesday, adding that she has an illuminated toy zebra of her own.

Each student in the school’s six Grade 1 classrooms chose an animal to research and write about for a school project. They also created an animal with their parents at home that they studied about in school, said a teacher.

First grade teacher Jill Matturro said the students threw themselves into the project.

“The children were very excited and they were able to pick their own animal,” she said. “They weren’t just thinking about cats and dogs. They did anything from an ox to a yak.”

Each student created a report and also worked at home with parents on the animals, Matturro said.

“We thought it would be nice to tie in a home and school for this,” she said.

Creating the project enables students to learn more about different environments such as a safari in the jungle or under the waves with examples of marine life, Matturro said.

“Not all the children have been to those environments or have seen them so we thought we would bring those environments to them,” she said.

The initiative for the day came from fellow first grade teacher Anne Dunne who had experienced something similar at a previous job, Matturro said.

The other teachers involved in the project are Alice Hallowell, Berta Yanez, Cami Murace and Maureen Durand.

As she led a tour of the projects in the six classrooms Principal Anne Downey proudly said the students did a lot of work leading up to Tuesday’s exhibit.

“You can tell they worked very hard,” Downey said. 

Kitana Taylor’s mother Lisa said Kitana was intrigued by the project and worked on it at home.

“All of the ones I have seen are lovely and Kitana put a lot of effort into her project,” she said while she and fellow parents and children patiently waited in line to enter a classroom.

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