This week we ventured deeper into the sea and researched sea turtles and seahorses. We learned that sea turtles have a flattened hard shell (carapace), which allows them to be more efficient swimmer. However, because of its shape, the sea turtle is unable to retract its head and limbs into its shell. They can hold their breath underwater for up to five hours. Some sea turtles can travel two to three years before returning to their nesting ground. Sea turtles lay their eggs in the sandy beaches. Once the baby turtles hatch, they need to make their way to the ocean before becoming prey to birds. Unfortunately, many of the babies do not make it to the ocean. They eat jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, shrimp, snails mollusks, and algae. Plastic bags threaten the lives of sea turtles, as they often mistaken them for jellyfish.
In order to better understand the sea turtles' outer anatomy, we became observant scientists, looking closely at their carapace, limbs, and colouring. The carapace is made up of hexagonal (five sided) sections. Its limbs are flippers, which allow them to swim more efficiently. We took this a step further and created thoughtful scientific art, using paper plates, and traced hexagons with green crayons. Next, we painted over the green crayon with green watercolour paint, watching how the wax repels the paint and creates a more realistic looking shell. Next we drew scutes (scales) on green construction paper create more realistic looking heads, tails, and limbs, and then attached them to the underside of the carapaces. We were careful to use colours that are actually found on sea turtles. The children did a wonderful job!
Another amazing sea creature that we studied this week is the seahorse. This tiny fish lives in seagrass beds, roots of mangrove trees, and in coral reefs. The are vertebrates (have a backbones) but do not have ribs; however, they do have rings that go from their head to their tail. Seahorses do not have a stomach, therefore, need to eat most of their day. They have three main fins and a forth fin near its belly to provide stability. They move their fins very quickly, similar to a hummingbird. Unlike most fish, the seahorse does not have scales, rather it is covered with skin. They have three pigments in their skin, which they use to camouflage themselves from theirs predators. It is the male seahorse that carries the eggs and delivers the live baby seahorses. Lastly, we discussed the seahorse's habitat and learned that they live in a one metre squared habitat. We took out the metre sticks to see just how many that is.
The doctors are in! We set up our dramatic play area into a doctor/hospital/veterinarian clinic. There have been many clients seen in triage, sent for x-rays, and who have undergone surgery. They are having so much fun treating everyone and have gone through a pile of bandages!
Paper airplanes! We were lucky enough to find the gym empty so we could test out our paper airplanes! What fun!
Please continue to be mindful of the weather and ensure that your child is dressed in layers.
Have a wonderful weekend!