This year my youngest daughter wanted to study marine biology. My first thought was Please don’t let it involve a fish tank – pleeease. For those of you who know me well, you will know just why I was thinking that. My history with fish tanks has involved well, a lot of expired fish. Apparently, I’m a fish killer.
Soooo, when I found out that one of the many highlights of our marine biology text involved a project constructing an ocean box or diorama and fish constructed of modeling clay, I tried to contain my glee. Luckily, to my daughter I just appeared like an enthusiastic homeschool mom.
We are fortunate to live on a beautiful island on the west coast, and this has provided a variety of means to explore our local shores and tidal pools. The much praised by me text we have been using (though it shouldn’t really be called a text book, because text books are boring and this book is definitely NOT BORING, and it is extra special because it does not inlvove a fish tank) has been Fulbright’s Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.
One of the highlights of the text is an opportunity to create ones very own ocean box. Throughout the text, students are encouraged to continually add critters that they have learned about and place them in the appropriate proximity in their ocean box. Well, it wasn’t long before my daughter’s virtual ocean was teeming with life; including a walrus who was actually sitting on top of the ocean box. Whales were gliding, fish were swimming, jellyfish were drifting, starfish were clinging, There was even an elaborate coral reef. This is a also good project for siblings to do together as well providing you have a really big box and lots of modeling clay.
I can’t say enough about these texts – my children love them. The books cover enough material to take a student through an entire year of study, but you can modify them as you wish. Over all, we have been using this marine text for about 3/4 of the school year and are presently starting the botany text which I will most likely carry over into the first part of the following school year.
Wondering what to do with this elaborate project once completed? Well, most people would probably take a photo and place the said photo in an album or binder and then promptly dismantle said project. Me, who was overjoyed at the fact that it didn’t involve a fish tank- considered hanging it on her bedroom wall. Over time I think I’ll opt for the photo, but there is talk of raising tadpoles in the forefront. I wonder if she’ll go for a frog pond made from paper mache.