Students Showcase Their Animal ExpertiseOctober 24, 2022
Green Chimneys students’ animal knowledge and handling skills were on full display for a day of presentations at Farm Showmanship Day. Following the success of the event’s first run this past spring, Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife staff expanded the day by opening it up to the families of our students to see firsthand their child’s hard work and expertise as they presented their animal of choice to staff and volunteers serving as judges.
Building Student Knowledge
Students of all ages showcased their knowledge by providing details of their animal’s species, its care, and why they selected the animal. In addition to studying and presenting a variety of farm animals, such as goats, sheep and llamas, students shared their expertise in wildlife, including birds of prey, waterfowl, reptiles and insects. Horsemanship skills were also on display as students presented mounted dressage in the indoor riding arena, and also guided horses through a clever obstacle course in the outdoor ring.
The benefits of animal-assisted education truly came to life as students drew upon their skills in academic study, conceptual thinking, and emotional regulation to deliver comprehensive information on a beloved topic: animals!
Building Student Confidence
The judges prompted each student with questions to help them elaborate on all they had learned, encouraging them every step of the way. Students received feedback on their knowledge and presentation style, plus a round of applause by families, staff, and fellow students for a job well done.
“For students, walking in front of a judge and speaking about what they’ve studied, all while handling an animal, takes a lot of courage,” states Teaching Barn Program Assistant Danielle Zalewski. “Many of the students thrived in the spotlight and were very proud to present their animal; some students were more nervous and had stage fright. What was amazing is that every student—no matter how nervous they felt —still went out, leaned on the support of their animal, and really shined.”
With the success of this second Showmanship Day, we look forward to making it an ongoing tradition to help our students not only develop knowledge and skills, but give them the feeling of success that propels them to experiment and try new things in the future.