And then a scavenger hunt looking for things in nature ... a blooming flower, something shiny, a beautiful bug, something gross (most found slugs), a rockin’rock, a lovely looking leaf...
He gave us the opportunity to look closely at the birds through his scope (adjustable for bird watchers of all heights!). He also taught us the difference between a bluejay and a stellar's jay (bluejays are smaller, have white stripes on their chests, and are rarely seen in this area - only once in the last 10 years!) And have you wondered why you see fewer stellar's jays this year than in past years? The numbers really are declining. Speculation is that increased pesticide use has reduce the available insects (their food source)
We were also lucky to be able to participate in some crabbing off the dock. Students got to take part in measuring the crabs and throwing back the ones that were too little!
People put worms in their compost bins to help the composting process (Note: be careful about adding to much acidic items like tomatoes, oranges, and onions as they can burn the worms). The worms also aerate the soil by digging tunnels, this brings plants the oxygen they need to grow.
What you will observe with this experiment? Students will view the worms mixing the soil and sand. They do this two ways, by digesting it and by traveling through it. You will also get to see how the worms travel through the soil by creating tunnels, which help to aerate the soil. Just make sure to keep your worms fed and the soil damp
On our nature walk today, students learned how to identify (and eat?!) the Salmonberry, a species of brambles in the rose family, native to the west coast of North America.
They also learned the origin of the name 'Salmonberry' - rooted in the beliefs of the Chinook tribe, and heard a legend from the tribe, about a boy/girl named Salmonberry.
The Chinook believe that when the plant was first discovered, the Coyote was instructed to put its berries inside the mouth of every salmon he caught from the river. This was done to ensure continued good fishing. Therefore, according to the Chinook, this legend is how the name “Salmonberry” originally came about long ago.
The stories from native peoples of the Olympic Peninsula tell of the deep history of human relationships with the salmonberry. In one Makah legend, it is said that if a child stays out past dark, the Basket Woman will come. The Basket Woman will scoop up that child and roast him or her for dinner. In the legend, a young Makah child named Salmonberry stays out on the beach until after dark to see for her/himself if the Basket Lady really exists. Basket Lady appears in the night and takes Salmonberry and her two friends to her hut to be cooked for dinner. The students in the class inevitably can 'see through' the reason for the legend - especially in a time where children would be playing by themselves around dusk.
The salmonberry’s importance to the Chinook tribe is portrayed in the common usage of the name weaved throughout tribal legends and memories.
Students had an introduction to density through a salt water density experiment. Using salt, water, an eyedropper and a few other kitchen utensils, they began to understand that a salt solution is 'heavier' than a plain water solution. They observed the difference between adding weaker salt solutions above stronger ones (i.e. layering), and adding stronger salt solutions above weaker ones (i.e. mixing). Still trying to figure out a way to use this concept in our lemonade stand, as the layers can be quite beautiful and lots of fun!
This blog tracks recent highlights from Block 8 Academy. It includes events that occurred during care time as well as special events attended by students and their families.