Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ocean Animals' Visit

Today, we had the delightful experience of learning about ocean animals with live organisms!  Thanks to the dedicated individuals at the Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) of Blue Hill, Maine, the children were able to explore a touch tank in our own classroom.  They had plenty of knowledge to share and were completely engaged in their learning.  Here are some of the special friends we got to know today:

Sea Stars - The small one was in the process of growing a new arm!

A mussel (and a green crab which cannot be seen here...).

A rock crab and the shell of a horseshoe crab.

A sand dollar.

A (very) large sea clam.

A Jonah crab (also very large and elicited squeals of delight!).
 And this (stuffed-taxidermy) seal was also a guest of honor, although I'm not sure if the children realized it was real!

A friendly guest!
The MERI center in Blue Hill boasts an educational touch tank complete with additional live specimens including lobsters, urchins, and sea anemone.  For those of you in the area, it is definitely worth a visit! They also hold various classes for children which you can read about here. We were thankful for this educational outreach program and the children gained much insight into the topic.   Also, it was most fitting during our cross-curriculum study of oceans within our Montessori setting.   

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