by BCS Third Grade Teacher Laura Burnham
For the past couple of weeks, two out of my three literacy groups have been reading about ocean animals and coral reefs. Students reading about ocean animals have been discussing similarities and differences between specific animals such as a Great White Shark and a Blue Whale. Students have also been discussing dangers and things that harm ocean animals and what we can do to prevent such dangers. Students reading about coral reefs have been discussing the importance to coral reefs, what they are made of, what humans use them for, and how important it is to keep them safe. To further their understandings of the importance of keeping coral reefs safe and what we can do to help the ocean I had a special guest come in on November 30.
Patrick Burnham is a Marine Biologist working on Catalina Island in California. He is currently working for a company called CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institute) where he educates kids of all ages about the importance of ocean safety and about specific animals. He talked about different animals such as sharks, whales, dolphins, etc. He chatted with students about the habitat- what they eat, how they hunt for food, and how they survive in the ocean. Patrick brought in different teeth and bones to give students a better visual. He brought in a shark jaw to show students the different layers and how many teeth they have. He brought in part of a whale ear to show students that even though you can’t see a whales ear- they have them internally and then we were able to listen to a video of how whales communicate with each other.
The students really enjoyed looking at all the things that were brought in and there was a lot of great conversations going on. Students really retained some good information from reading groups and were able to bring that to their discussions with Patrick.