May 2

A Focus on Goats

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve, only a few miles from home, has resident goats. I visited the preserve during their Earth Day celebration, and watched children feeding them magnolia leaves, which I consequently discovered is their favorite treat! Watch the goat below push the other goat away from the leaves.

In this post, let’s focus on a goat’s eyes. What do you observe and wonder?

How would it benefit a goat to have horizontal pupils? Scroll under the photo below to find the answer.

Goats are herbivores and need to be able to spot predators approaching along the ground. Horizontal pupils improve peripheral vision, so they can see on either side of them without turning their heads. Click here for the Safeshare link.

The two videos below present additional information about goats. Click here for the Safeshare link.

Click here for the Shafeshare link.

After studying goats, read The Three Billy Goats Gruff, a traditional folk tale about three brothers who need to avoid a troll as they cross a bridge to reach the pasture. A folktale is a fictional story that was originally passed down orally. Many folktales have animals as characters, magical elements, and teach a lesson. A common theme is good vs. evil.

It is fun to compare different illustrators’ interpretations of the story. The author will always be unknown. This is also an easy story to dramatize with sound effects. I used a rectangular school table as my bridge. The goats could safely walk across the table with the troll underneath. You may also have a bridge on your playground.
Click here for the Safeshare link.

My youngest scientists brainstormed alternative ways the goats could have safely reached the other side of the river. When one of them suggested a boat, my response would always be, “Let’s make boats for the goats!” Click here for the repost of this STEM lesson.

A lesson about absorbency would be a good place to begin. Click here for a simple lesson that will build background knowledge.

To learn more about animal eyes, click here for the Safeshare link.