Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Chloe’s mum came into school today carrying a dark, dark box.
And in that dark, dark box was a soft, white towel.
And in that soft, white towel was a soft, black towel.
And in that soft, black towel was a hard, white skull … of a crocodylus johnstoni.  A freshwater crocodile.

A crocodile head. "Look at the eye holes."

Crocodylus, what big eyes you have on the top of your head.
All the better to see you with (when I am largely submerged in the murky water).
Crocodylus, what big nostrils you have on the top of your head.
All the better to breathe with (as I remain still, like a log in the water). 

Crocodylus, what sharp teeth you have in that long, tapering snout.
All the better to grab you with and swallow you whole, my dear!

"Look at the sharp teeth and how they fit together."

There’s a crocodile in the next room too so I borrow it to show the children. It’s a young crocodylus johnstoni prepared by a taxidermist. We look closely and see the five toes on the front feet and the four webbed toes on the back feet. We observe two lines of spikes along its back that become one line of spikes along the tapering tail. Children comment on the browns and blacks of the hard scaly body and the ‘glassy’ appearance of the  eyes. “I feel like it’s watching me all the time,” said Thea.

"Look at the four toes on the back feet."

Later we move on to Internet information and detailed big books with wonderfully clear photographs. The children draw and label their crocodile pictures. Today, we learned lots about crocodylus johnstoni… and it was fun.

Crocodiles I have seen on my walks through Argentea and Cairns Tropical Zoo…

I am cold-blooded so I warm up by basking in the sun.

I like lounging in the water, too

Lastly, a video of crocodylus johnstoni…

Have you seen crocodiles in the wild? Or in a zoo?
What more can you share about freshwater crocodiles?

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