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A special lesson at Riley - thanks to some special goats

First-grade students in Lincoln Public Schools learn about animals and the life cycle as part of their science curriculum. Last week’s lesson for first-grade students at Riley Elementary School went above and beyond those expectations.

One of Riley’s first-grade teachers, Vickie Neilly, has a brother who farms in Burwell, Nebraska. One of his female goats - or does - gave birth to female quintuplets recently. There’s a one-in-10,000 chance for goats to give birth to quintuplets - and to have them all be female is unheard of, Neilly said.  

Neilly’s students, as well as those of fellow first-grade teachers Jenna Adamson and Nicole Janssen, were able to see photos of the baby goats and watch them live via webcam. Each class also had the opportunity to name one of them. Students submitted suggested names, then voted on the winners. The classes came together briefly on Thursday afternoon and Neilly revealed the winning names.

For Adamson’s class, the winning name was Lulu, with Snowball the runner-up. Janssen’s students chose Miracle. Neilly’s students voted on Snow White in a close race over Cupcake and Mrs. Neilly, in honor of their teacher.

“I love these names. I can’t wait to tell my brother,” Neilly said.

The fourth baby goat was already named Cali. As for the fifth, the teachers and their students had a suggestion for Neilly’s brother:

Riley, of course.


Published: February 5, 2019, Updated: February 5, 2019