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story.lead_photo.caption Greta Patten, Adrianna Branch and Kirsten Harris strike a pose. They and their fifth-grade classmates used newly learned research skills to learn about and present on rainforest animals. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

Even the Bartley Elementary teachers learned something from their costume-clad students.

"I didn't know anything about the margay, really," fifth-grade teacher Jess Wright said.

Monday was the culmination of a months-long project in which fifth-grade students learned about research techniques and reliable sources. Students chose a rain forest animal to focus on, researching its life cycle and habits, then dressed up and presented information it to fellow students.

"I'm really impressed with their engagement with their topics," Wright said. "Some people got really into the costumes."

Adrianna Branch constructed an impressive scarlet macaw costume and a rain forest diorama. She said she used a child-safe search engine to find good sources for her presentation.

Chase Horton researched the green anaconda and painted scales onto a shirt and mask. He said he already knew a lot about the giant snakes, as he's seen them in zoos.

"It's at the top of the food chain," he said.

McKinley Melton said it took her and her mother half an hour to make a sloth mask. Her favorite sloth fact: they can live up to 30 years.

"I picked it because my mom's really slow and it's her favorite animal," she said.

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