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First Graders Learn About Marine Mammals

Blog Type:  STEM Lower School
Date Posted:  Friday, February 7, 2020

Part of the Eco-School curriculum at the Lower School is to look at the local environment and learn from it. Our First graders went on a field trip to the Shorebird Park Nature Center near the Berkeley Marina in January to pay a close look at the bay and the wildlife around us.

They compared the marine mammals: the difference between seals and sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, whales, and studied different topics covered through different stations: marine mammal biology, marine mammal behavior, reproduction and growth, senses, food chains and ecology, adaptations and human impact.

The 4 stations are:

  • Audio: students had to recognize the sound of the animals.
  • Insulation: how do sea mammals protect themselves from the cold ? Observation of the fur of sea otters, and seal blubber. Students had to put their hands in cold water and test the difference when wearing the fur.
  • Feeding: observation and touching of the teeth of different seals and guess what they eat.
  • Conservation: awareness of the environment, cleaning of the beach, or specific actions to protect these species.

After the field trip, Science teacher Isabelle Leblanc made a lesson on sea mammals and how they adapted to their local environment.