Calm waves and large marsh areas welcomed Grade 4 students and teachers Emily Schimelman 2002 and Caroline Shelton 2013 as they ventured out to the East Haven shoreline for a hands-on learning activity studying sea life in the open water.
In science class with Lower School teacher Steve Jewett, the students have been hard at work studying and learning about Long Island Sound sea life, tide pools, adaption, and energy exchange. The unit was brought to life as the students used their knowledge to investigate the creatures inhabiting the beach.
“This has always been an exciting unit of study,” commented Mr. Jewett. “The students spent a beautiful day at the beach, but most importantly got to explore the ecosystems and observe the hidden habitats of sea creatures up close.”
Divided into groups, the students engaged in two separate activities before switching over to the other. The first activity was a seashore scavenger hunt where students had to scurry around the tide pools looking for different sea creatures including oysters, clams, hermit crabs, seagrass, rockweed, and more. All items found in the hunt were placed in water-filled buckets to bring back to the classroom for later observation.
In the second activity, students worked with Mr. Jewett in the open water using a seine net to capture and identify sea creatures. A seine net is a long, rectangular net attached to poles on each end that keep the net tight to catch fish or other creatures. The students and Mr. Jewett slowly maundered the net in and around the water before making their way back to shore. The net was laid out on the beach for the students to examine the fish they captured before Mr. Jewett moved it back into the water to release the fish.
Following the day’s activities, students will have a chance to research an organism of their choice and learn more about the unique features that help it survive in the Long Island Sound.
“Being scavengers for day allowed the students to really observe and discover the beauty of sea life and the different creatures inhabiting the water,” noted Mrs. Schimelman.
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.