“The deeper our thoughts go about God’s creation, the higher our hands go in worship,” says Aaron Laenger, Head of School, Veritas Classical Academy. Indeed, this is Providence’s goal for zoology study—for students to appreciate our amazing God through an in-depth study of His creation. “Zoology is unique because we have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of creatures including land animals, sea creatures, birds, and insects,” says 4th grade teacher Christy Porterfield. “Experiencing these unique creatures results in a wonder that draws students to their Creator. Watching their faces light up in awe brings me great joy and delight as we explore animals hands-on, through vibrant photographs, videos, and encountering a few in our own backyards.”
In keeping with Providence’s classical distinctive, zoology lessons are integrated with geography, art, math, reading and writing. In addition, students memorize relevant passages of Scripture, learn about the scientific method, and maintain a science journal with pictures and written entries. Students are also provided opportunities for exploration of science through hands-on experiences, such as a recent field trip to the Austin Reptile Show. “At the Austin Reptile Show, students are given the opportunity to hold each creature,” explains Mrs. Porterfield. “Over the years, I have received several emails from parents expressing how proud and amazed they were by their students’ courage in holding the snakes! Every year when we go to the show, many students express that they will not touch the animals; they just want to look at them. But then they watch their friends hold a snake or a lizard and suddenly they have the confidence to try it themselves. The sense of community during the experience is encouraging as the students cheer for one another following a successful try.”
Teaching the younger students with an eye to the future is standard practice at Providence. Because we desire our graduates to be awe-inspired, inquisitive, and intellectually grounded, providing opportunities for these traits to take root and grow deeply within our young students now is both wise and crucial. An exciting and systematic study of God’s creation inspires students to desire truth, beauty and goodness and to worship the One who is the Designer of it all.