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kids on the beach - artwork

Summer In Sarasota: Beachcombing

This morning I have been searching online for interesting ideas to share with you as we work our way through the dog days of summer.
I was delighted to discover that one of my favorite resources for outdoor learning has been posted online by the Lawrence Hall of Science: OBIS (Outdoor Biological Instructional Strategies.
www.outdoorbiology.com
You may find their website interesting for its wide range of 96 specific projects and activities that can be used with children from age 5 or 5 and older (adapting each activities for different ages).
Summer time in Florida often includes time at the beach. Here is a simple way to turn what children do naturally into an activity that may become more focused and interesting. As always, follow your child(ren). If they are interested, continue. If they aren't, or if they show boredom, stop.
Here a group of children search the beach or shore for living organisms or signs of life. There are usually few living organisms on most beaches, but there is usually plenty of evidence of life (shells, feathers, tracks). The kids are then challenged to speculate on where the evidence of the living organism came from and how it happened to reach this beach.
Group Size: Any
Suggested Age: 6 and up
Time: Variable 35 min. or more
You will need?
Site: a sandy beach or lakeshore with evidence of life
Prep: Containers (bucket, dishpan, cut-off milk carton), hand lens or bug boxes, Large lump of clay or paper and crayons, shovel, hand nets
Focus Question: What evidence of life can you find on the shore or beach?
Learning outcomes:
Identify signs of life on a beach or lakeshore.
Distinguish between living organisms and evidence of living organisms.
Make inferences about how the evidence of living organisms ended up on this beach.
Download the complete folio for this OBIS activity.
Outdoor Biology Activiites

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