Lens-Artist Challenge # 145 Getting to Know You
I post so much about my pets. Puppy Girl wove herself into our hearts over eleven years ago. When we lived in California, we had a string of cats, but none that came inside until Scardy, Nutter Butter and Moji. So I celebrate them ad naseum as we become more and more comfortable as a family.
Notice that my formerly cat-allergic husband is taking the picture of Puppy girl tolerating Nutter Butter sleeping with his head so close to hers. Nutter Butter is not pushing Puppy Girl out of “his” bed. Moji stays far away from the others in her own Kingdom where she is the only Princess.
Long Long Ago in a Land Far Away
There lived another family which included me and animals that my first husband, Mark, tolerated at first and then came to enjoy.
This was my favorite guinea pig, Piggles. A teacher colleague of mine gave her to me as a classroom pet back when we could have classroom pets. Of course, she lived at my house, not at school.
Mark liked her, bought her an outdoor amazing rabbit hutch, even cleaned up after her sometimes. She would come inside, sit on our laps to watch tv with us for short periods of time. I would hold her first, then he would hold her. Usually by the time it was his turn, her little bladder had all the tossing and turning it could stand. Fortunately, she always sat on a thick absorbent towel. Mark had an amazing amount of patience.Piggles was so cute that I decided that I wanted to raise guinea pigs. My friend had other guinea pigs, but I didn’t want to have related pigs having guinea babies, so I went to the pet store and bought Buster, and brought him home as Piggle’s mate.They both had such cute faces, and cowlicks – very cute. They looked a little bit alike. Later I learned that my colleague had sold her extra guinea pigs to the pet store. Piggles and Buster were brother and sister. They had cute piglets.I’m sorry that Tri is so blurry. This was taken at least xx years ago. She used to be much clearer! JK
At one point I wanted to and did write a children’s book, The Three Little Guinea Pigs. Our dogs Bud and BJ were the bad guys. My friend Joyce illustrated it for me, but I never got the courage to send it to a publisher.
Bud was Mark’s adored dog. BJ was mine and also was Bud’s son.
Bud would eat Piggles food out of jealousy! You can barely see piggles behind the head of lettuce.
Bud Junior, BJ, was more interested in sniffing Piggles than eating stupid guinea pig lettuce.
So the story was born about the three guinea pigs out smarting the big bad house dogs and telling the readers that the story of the pigs being eaten by a wolf was preposterous.
Guinea Pig Fourth Grad Curriculum
When I taught the fourth grade bilingual class, I stayed up at nights designing curriculum around these loveable animals. In my class my students kept a spiral notebook in which they worked guinea pig math, observed guinea behavior, and wrote poetry. I’ve included a few of the worksheets I designed to show you what fun I had teaching and designing curriculum.
The curriculum was based on several summer training programs I took in science and math project-based learning. The kids loved it and so did I. This first page teaches logic.
Of course, I had to write some poetry and one song that we all learned. Here is one of the poems.
© 1993 Marsha Alvord Ingrao
A few pages students completed and glued in their notebooks.
Guinea Pig Pre-Test – Guinea Guesses
Pre-tests are also a good way to pique students’ curiosity and help them learn more. Here are ten questions. How much do you know about guinea pigs?
- Where did guinea pigs come from originally?
- How were they used?
- Name three breeds of guinea pigs.
- What is the male guinea pig called?
- What is the female guinea pig called?
- Do guinea pigs prefer bright sun or dark hiding places?
- Are guinea pigs herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores.
- Do guinea pigs prefer hot or cold weather?
- Are guinea pigs aggressive or gentle.
- List five hints to care for a guinea pig.
My teaching years were so much exhaustingly fun. I taught a bilingual fourth grade class for about five years. At the time we didn’t have a lot of curriculum, so those of us who taught the bilingual classes took extra training and improvised.
I am proud of what my students accomplished in my class and beyond. Many became teachers, some scientists, managers, lawyers, and leaders in their communities. I had the privilege of being a tiny part of their growth.