Habitat Impressions from Student Journals



The following poems and impressions were written by Patricia Mazzone's 6th grade students  in North Bergen's Gifted and Talented (G & T) Program, also known as P.E.A.K. (Providing Enrichment and Accelerated Knowledge).  The poems and other written work incorporated Language Arts Literacy, the Environment, and Multiculturalism as each style of poetry was taken from a different country. 

Students receive their NJ Audubon Junior Naturalist Certificates

This program has been a part of North Bergen's Educational System since 1982.  P.E.A.K. is a pull-out program. The students selected for the P.E.A.K. Program spend a portion of their school time with the P.E.A.K. teachers.   They are bussed from their "home schools" to the District Resource Center for G & T at J. F. Kennedy School where the classrooms have been created to meet their specific needs.  The development of higher level thinking skills; critical thinking skills, creative thinking skills, research techniques and problem solving skills are emphasized.

As students visited each different habitat on a series of field trips, they were asked to keep a journal of their impressions - these are their words and drawings of the experiences and discoveries they had "in the field."

HABITAT TYPE:  River & Stream

We are now by the Hudson River.  It is a habitat for many animals.  We are across from the Bronx.  I can hear the nuthatch.  The Hudson River is brackish.  We hear the Tufted Titmouse.  This habitat is so relaxing.  I smell fresh air.  I hear the Downy Woodpecker.  The Hudson River is a nursery for blue crabs.  WE just saw an eagle.  It's huge and amazing.  The osprey is searching for food.  I see a whole tree of turkey tail mushrooms!  It is decomposing the bark.  The red maple is one of the first to turn red.  The stream is a relaxing place.  Insects called macroinvertebrates live under rocks.

- Crystal S.

 HABITAT TYPE:  Northern Mixed Oak Forest

I hear all kinds of birds.  You can't really see them because they are very fast flyers but, you know that they're there.

- Gabrielle S.

Artwork by Rebecca E.


I thought that the lake was exceedingly beautiful.  No plants were growing out of the water like they were in the swamp.  Snapping turtles were hibernating in the mud.

- Daniel S.


 Red, yellow, orange colors reflect on the pond?glistening in the sun.

- Heba S.


I feel so peaceful,
I smell you from here,
Don't go away,
You are a part of me

- Andrea A.


The reflection in the pond is like nothing I ever saw before.  The colors give it that tone that photographers must love.

- David N.


Artwork by Jessica E.



 We found an eastern cottonwood leaf, which turn yellow in the fall. The tree is grayish.  We see a mulberry tree.  It has different shape leaves.  There is a winged sumac.  It has compound leaves.  It grows berries.  Their leaves are a bright red.  It looks like fire. 

- Gisbel V.

 HABITAT TYPE:  Salt Marsh

 It is very quiet, cold, and damp.  The water was cold.  It was fun to catch stuff.  Right now we are in the mud flat habitat.  It smells different than back home.  We are in low tide right now.  Wear standing where the high tide would be.  There are bird tracks through the sand.  There is coal from trains that used to bring it to the boats - the coal would fall out.  There are shells of all different kinds of things.  It is a foggy day.  There is stuff I have never seen before.

- John K.


Many Flowers

The lot is dirty.
But there are many flowers.
All over the place.

- Richard O.



The beautiful leaves
Will fall in autumn each day
We will notice them.

- John S.


Morning Doves

The morning dove sings
The dove's song sounds soft and sad
It feels so peaceful

- Maggie C.



Earth's light
Shining, sparkling everywhere
Radiant power, sky's gift

- Francheska M.


Sometimes Great
Filled With Wonders
Refreshing, Relaxing, Happy, Sad

- Katherina G.


Furry Animals
Eating their breakfast
Chewing freely, very fast

- Lucy H.


Beautiful ones
Flying up high
Calmly with such tenderness

- Laura M.




Reptiles eat

On the silent evening, in the Cedar swamp stealthy and quick reptiles eat and devour their food to maintain their survival.

- Mateo G.

Butterflies Flutter

In the peaceful park, beautiful, blue butterflies flutter in the early morning to show their beautiful wings.

-Roma S.

Grasshoppers Jump

On a warm spring day, green, fast grasshoppers jump quickly in the green grass, to wake people up.

- Mena T.

Snakes Slither

In the sizzling summer, scaly and slimy snakes slither serenely in the cedar swamp in search of supper.

- Hirsh S.

Fish Swim

During the early morning in the deep pond, scaly, fresh water fish migrate in search of mates.

- Eric N.

For additional information, call or write NJAS Department of Education, Center for Research and Education, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ  08210  (609) 861-0700.