With the water temperature at 78 degrees and the gorgeous summer-like weather on Catalina Island, the Fifth Graders relished their recent Outdoor Education trip. Fifth Grade Teacher Kimarie Lynn shares highlights of this three-day learning experience:
The labs were one of the favorites of the students, and we divided them into 12 children per lab. The Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) personnel instructed us in the parts of a fish skeleton. We learned the anatomy and purpose of each section, including the parts that propel and balance, as well as those that aid in the digestion of food.
In the algae lab, the students delighted in hearing that toothpaste, ice cream, yogurt, and chocolate milk all contain algae to provide the “creaminess” component of each product.
At the fish and shark touch tanks the Fifth Graders were up close and personal with small leopard sharks, round rays and sting rays, and shovel-nosed guitar fish. Another touch tank contained sea snails, sea cucumbers, octopi, sea urchins, sea stars, and non-stinging jelly fish.
Many of our Fifth Graders had never observed sea life under water, so our 1 ½ hour snorkeling sessions on two different days were a real treat. Outfitted with wet suits, face masks, swim fins, and snorkels, the students studied sea life from both on top of the water and while diving beneath the surface. The sand habitats held the various types of rays, while we discovered that the sections of the ocean floor with rocks and kelp were home to a huge variety of fish including the Garibaldi, senorita, blacksmith, sheepshead, and opaleye.
Crabbing (searching for crabs), plankton study, and rock climbing were just a few more of the activities our students enjoyed during this amazing educational experience at Catalina Island.
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