Submitted by Doran Muus
The first graders took
a trip this week to The Norwalk Aquarium, a great place to see ocean animals up close. With three touch tanks and massive displays that offer a detailed view of local ocean animals, the children excitedly went from exhibit to exhibit looking for the special sea animal they studied in class this spring.
The field trip was the highlight of the First Grade Ocean Unit and the second of three enriching adventures that connect our students to outside learning communities like this maritime museum in Connecticut. It was a “just-right” adventure for our group, with spacious classrooms and comfortable viewing areas, but not too big or intimidating. Experts shared their knowledge with the children and answered their questions. One exhibit featured the chance to touch the manta rays and even some small harmless sharks. Another exhibit offered the children a chance to feel the surface of a jellyfish! We watched the Harbor Seals get fed and perform useful “tricks” for their trainers, like offering their sharp-nailed flippers for inspection – for a herring reward. Many students liked the classes the best, where they used models to figure out the life cycles of sea creatures and examined the protective features of unusual sea life, which they could touch. The trip was a hands-on learning experience that our students are unlikely to forget. Everyone, including moms, dads, and teachers, participated enthusiastically and enjoyed our educational outing together.