The youngest SMUS class has spent the first official month of winter under the sea, learning about its aquatic inhabitants through a wide range of activities and assignments. Teacher Margaret Lincoln brought the ocean theme into arts and crafts, reading time and hands-on scientific study.
“A highlight for every child was a visit from Senior School science teacher, Christie Johnson,” says Mrs. Lincoln. Mrs. Johnson brought a live collection of sea creatures, including starfish, crabs and a sea slug, which the children were able to see and hold while the specific features were examined and explained.
Another main event was the scavenger hunt, a challenging game where the students’ classroom was transformed into their very own marine lab. Students created oxygen tanks from pop bottles, as well as masks and snorkels, so they could go deep-sea diving in the darkened classroom. Using flashlights, the students searched for and discovered many words that they have learned to read hidden throughout the room.
This in-depth exploration led them to create a submersible, an underwater craft used especially for deep-sea research, which they fashioned from a large cardboard box. The vessel proved to be the perfect spot to read the wonderful collection of non-fiction books Mrs. Nason sent from the library.
Other activities ranged from painting starfish, octopus and other sea creatures to modeling fish from clay and creating sea aquariums. Throughout their studies, the students showed an aptitude and enthusiasm for their subjects of study. As Mrs. Lincoln quips, “The wonder and delight in the children’s faces confirmed that learning about oceans and marine life was a ‘splashing’ success.”