Posted on 11/13/2013 at 12:00 pmViewed 1,453 times
Herring Gut recently completed a 6 class collaboration with Mrs. Falla's second grade class at the St. George School investigating marine plants, animals, and their adaptations to their environment. This program was generously funded by the Georges River Education Foundation (GREF)
Mrs. Falla has been thrilled with the results of the program and her students' engagement in activities. In previous years to hit standards relating to the difference between plants and animals and their environments, she was using a school-provided terrarium kit with centipedes, pill bugs, and plants. She said half of the time everything would arrive dead and she was required to kill the animals when she was done because legally she wasn't allowed to release them. She was so happy that she didn't have to use that kit anymore and instead could hit the same education standards using an environment more familiar and interesting to the students of St. George and teach them about what is in their backyards.
Herring Gut educators Ann and Alex worked with the group of 13 2nd graders in Mrs. Falla's class, instructing them all about the ocean environment, marine plants and animals, and the adaptations these organisms have in order to survive in their environment. A couple of small aquariums set up in their classroom with fish, periwinkles, a lobster, and sea stars allowed the students to observe the animals' activity throughout the week.
Mrs. Falla said the students were overjoyed every morning to check on the tank when they arrived at school. As a culmination of this program, the students all designed their own "newly discovered" ocean animal, named it, and wrote a description about its adaptations. Colby created a "squidwinkle" that camouflaged itself using rockweed. Evie created an "octowhale" that used a scissor tail to chop up prey. Dante made a "peristar" that hides under rocks.
Herring Gut is looking forward to replicating this program with Mrs. Miller's kindergarten class at the St. George School in the spring.