Best Teaching Prop

Alvarez the 826 DC Iguana
826 DC, 3233 14th St. NW
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Finding motivation to learn can be tough, especially when you’re eight. But for the students at 826 DC, inspiration lives in a cage at the Museum of Unnatural History in Columbia Heights. His name is Alvarez, and he’s an iguana. Sure, he doesn’t do much besides eat lettuce leaves and occasionally scratch his back, but he’s still endlessly fascinating. Now, reluctant writers are penning letters and stories about their favorite reptiles and learning a little biology in the process. And Alvarez? He’s just lying back, enjoying the attention and snacks.