Friday, July 26, 2019

Splashes at Piers!

Hello everyone!

Sebastien after he fell in to the water...
This week was a fairly calm one, and we did our normal programming at Piers Park and Courageous. Monday, we had a new group of kids at Piers, so it was fun getting to know them. Of course, we had some familiar faces! Tuesday morning it poured! As a result, we only programmed at Courageous for the morning. In our indoor space, we last-minute created a Save the Harbor, Save the Bay version of a Jeopardy game! It was fairly rushed; however, I was pleasantly surprised how well it turned out--and how into it the kids were! We split the game up into four categories: harbor history/general harbor facts, harbor animal facts, fishing facts, and a random category! It was very fun, albeit challenging for many, due to the fact that these kids were new to Courageous! We hadn't realized that it was a new group of kids we were interacting with, so many of them didn't know things about the Harbor yet... Next week, we'll help to change this by creating some more informational lessons that teach them more about Boston Harbor and the species that live throughout its various ecosystems!
Lesson on adaptations!

This week was also interesting because, aside from Tuesday, where I led the majority of the lesson, both Wednesday's and Friday's lessons at Piers Park were planned and taught by JPAs and Fatima! It was a good experiment to see what everyone was capable of, and overall, I was impressed. Especially since we had some switcharoos and had both Kamal and Flo join us this week! Wednesday, Kamal, Jasmine, and Flo led a lesson on adaptations relating to species in the Harbor. They focused primarily on green crabs. First, Flo led the discussion by talking about which types of crabs you can find in the Harbor--European green, Asian shore, spider, Jonah, and rock. Kamal followed by prompting conversation about various defense mechanisms and adaptations a crab has to survive in the wild. For example, its protective shell or dull colors for camouflage. Finally, Flo finished the lesson by explaining how to properly identify whether a crab is male or female. Afterwards, they played a game that was meant to get the kids thinking about sea turtles and the use of their shells.

Friday, Colin and Fatima led a lesson on food chains and trophic levels. They went over large concepts, including what producers and consumers are. They did a lesson on the whiteboard, then did a game of tag that was meant to imitate the passing of energy between phytoplankton, mussels, crabs, and seagulls. However, we did not realize how difficult the lesson would be with 6-8 year olds. They seemed to get very antsy and were confused by the activity. Although it was not as successful as planned, it was a great learning moment! Now we know what works well for this group of kids and what didn't work well, and can thus plan more accordingly in the future. What a great--although chaotic--week!

Talk soon,

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