Elementary students get in-person experience with a reindeer

Dec 18, 2023, 6:08 PM | Updated: 6:35 pm

SANDY — Students at one elementary school had an unexpected guest Monday.

One of Santa’s four-legged friends traded snow for asphalt for the day, making it a special day for the kindergartners at Sprucewood Elementary.

“As part of their unit, they got to learn about different animals in habitats,” said Christina Van Dan, instructional coach for the elementary. “And what characteristics make up a living animal and a nonliving animal.”

Reindeer were part of a recent curriculum. As such, the kindergartners not only learned fun facts about Santa’s helper, but they got to touch and feel its coat and antlers. The children even got to whisper their holiday wishes.

This allows the students to put real-life experiences to paper.

“This is their first big informational piece of writing that they have done in kindergarten where they wrote three separate sentences about reindeer,” said Annalisa Krystof, a Sprucewood Elementary kindergarten teacher. “Being able to tell what reindeer can do, what they have and what they are.”

Experience not to be forgotten anytime soon

It’s a lesson the students will likely remember for years to come.

“They were like ‘Oh, I remember learning about the click sound they make’ or ‘I remember learning about the antlers that they shed’ and those are experiences that they may not have remembered or even had an understanding without this experience,” Van Dan said.

The experience also has the teachers excited.

“Getting to see this at the end after learning about them so much and writing about them is just a really neat experience for them to get to see,” Krystof said.

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Elementary students get in-person experience with a reindeer