Point pupils learning a lot from turtles

Six-year-old Joey Matthews holds the class turtle and and 6-year-old Jordan Michalski shows off the box turtle she made from a paper bowl. Both youngsters are in Karen Bridges' first-grade class.

Six-year-old Joey Matthews holds the class turtle and and 6-year-old Jordan Michalski shows off the box turtle she made from a paper bowl. Both youngsters are in Karen Bridges’ first-grade class.

People can learn a lot from turtles.

At least, that’s what pupils in Karen Bridges’ first-grade class at Point Elementary School are discovering.

Bridges recently bought the class a pet — a small box turtle. Her pupils showed so much interest in the turtle that she de-cided to use their enthusiasm as a teachable moment.

She created various assignments geared toward teaching her pupils facts about turtles and how to be responsible for a pet.

For one of the assignments, the first-graders read fact books about turtles and then discussed what they had learned.

Also, the pupils each made a box turtle out of a paper bowl. Together, the pupils painted scenery for their turtles’ environment. The pupils also are each taking turns playing host for the class pet for the weekend, then writing an entry in the class journal, “Diary of a Young Turtle” detailing their activities with the turtle.

Finally, the pupils decided that their pet should have a name. Proving once again that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the first-graders chose to name their class pet “Mrs. Bridges.”