Nile Crocodile - crocodlus niloticus
the who's who of crocodilians, the Nile Crocodile is one of
23 species throughout the world. It's habitat is freshwater
areas and some coastal habitats in Africa.
Nile Crocodile - the Reading Reptile
to Dr. Nile Stanley Vita
1992 as president of the New Mexico State Council of the International
Reading Association (NMIRA), Dr. Nile Stanley was bestowed
with the nickname Nile Crocodile, the Reading Reptile by past
president, Ann "Pink Flamingo" Tarleton. Nile immediately
developed a fondness for the crocodile adage as it was a familiar
reptile like the alligator. "The Gator," of course, is the
mascot for the University of Florida, at Gainesville where
Nile Stanley received his Ph.D. "Duh!" - get it, gator doesn't
rhyme with Nile.
mascots need a cheer to rouse people to action, so Dr. Stanley
developed the "Nile Crocodile" cheer. One part of a group
chants, "Nile, Nile!" The other part answers, "Crocodile!"
Then all together they make the chomping motions of the crocodile
with arms outstretched while snapping hands together. Dr.
Stanley, enjoying the power of his presendency, decreed that
all members of the NMIRA and former students must give the
Nile Crocodile cheer when in his presence. All this croc cheering
has led to much bufoonery particularly in public places like
restaurants, conventions, and airports.
leaders need the magical power of a totem, so students and
friends showered Dr. Stanley with admiration by giving him
presents -- lots of crocodiles and alligators! The collection
has grown to include ceramic crocs, crocodile combs, soaps,
hats, and toys. Some people collect pigs, Beanie Babies, and
other keepsakes. The crocodile is a worthy totem as it evokes
mystery, fear, and the allure of the jungle.
popular teaching activity that has sprung from all this crocodilian
lore is "Ask Nile Crocodile." Dr. Stanley likes to enter a
workshop with an element of surprise. Using one of those tacky
crocodiles on a leash you can buy in a gift shop in Florida,
he enters the room and scares the living daylights out of
selected members of the audience. After sicking the crocodile
on unsuspecting attendees, the game begins. "Now that I have
your attention, let's play Ask Nile Crocodile. I have literally
become a Nile Crocodile because of my extensive reading. I
am now an expert on the Nile Crocodile. Ask me any question.
audience usually responds with questions like: "Nile Crocodile,
what do you eat?" "How big do you get?" "What is the difference
between an alligator and a crocodile?" "Where do you live?"
"How do you mate?" "How are your young born?" Occasionally
an audience member asks a question Nile Crocodile can't answer,
and he responds, "I'll have to look that up in a book or internet
and get back to you."
Nile Crocodile is a marvelous game to get children to actively
demonstrate their knowledge about a topic. It can be easily
adapted to any age , interest, or subject. The child can read
and do research to become an expert on anything-animals, famous
people and places. The experts can literally become who they
studied by dressing in costume and using props. Some teachers
set aside a special "ask the expert" day for each child to
show off their knowledge. It's o.k. to be smart! Furthermore,
the audience gets out of the passive mode of being asked questions,
to becoming the interviewer.
not all learning the asking of questions? How can you learn
if you are not curious? Is not the role of the teacher to
help children find topics they can be passionate about? Isn't
the key to happiness in life finding something to be passionate
about? Jane Goodall is passionate about apes and preserving
the earth. Carl Sagen found his passion by looking up at the
stars. As Arsenio Hall, comedian used to say, "Get BUSY" By
the way, you'll find the answers to the game, Ask Nile Crocodile,
spoke Nile Crocodile, "At any given moment you have to be
willing to give up what you are for what you might become!"
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