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Saturday, October 8, 2022

Aquarium Field Trip 2022

Last Wednesday, we had a wonderful field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I thought that the trip might be a little too familiar to our students, but I was pleasantly surprised. Our high school students seem to enjoy any experience where we are out of the context of school and with their friends.

Last year, we read Cannery Row with our Basic English class, so we began our trip with a private tour at Pacific Biological Laboratories, also known as Doc Rickett's Lab. The City of Monterey helped us organize the tour, which included a very informative docent. It was special that the old building was only open to us. We got to see the original model of the building, the room where the Monterey Jazz Festival was imagined, and Doc's lab downstairs. I love experiences like these that bring our novels into relevancy! 

Ed "Doc" Ricketts

After the hour tour, we had a couple of hours to kill so we did a long loop (we walked almost 5 miles with 18 students!) from the historical worker's shed replicas to the spot where Doc's railroad accident the Hopkins Marine Station. 
The spot where Doc Rickett's railroad accident occurred. Often times, people put flowers in his hands.

Then, it was off to the aquarium!

We got to see the new Deep Sea exhibit, and many of our students were able to find the creature that they researched for their Aquarium research project. A couple of our students did the Bloody Belly Comb Jelly...a fragile, colorful species.

After our field trip, we ate at Carl's Jr, and then did another short walk/or went back to the aquarium, before we went home for the day. It was a memorable Monterey day with very few crowds...a fun day indeed.

In preparation for our field trip, we had an Aquarium Field Trip project that we did over a span of 4 days. 

The schedule is below:

Day 1: Introduced project, watched live webcams on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Website, completed the Outline

Day 2: Finished outline; converted facts to the Fact Sheet

Day 3-4: Worked on Diorama

When students came in, this was the setup that they saw:

Arts & crafts for the diorama; many were purchased from the Dollar Tree
A time when my Amazon shopping habit came in handy

Here is the link to the product if you are interested in doing it in your own classroom! It can be used for any aquarium field trip -- it doesn't have to be ther Monterey one.

Here are some of our students' finished products:

They did such a great job and it was a wonderful and productive lesson for the whole block period (1 hour and 30 minutes!). I would say they worked the whole time.

We have a couple more field trips planned for this year, but this one will definitely go down as one of the best ones we have had! Especially because we read a novel and did some pretty intense research leading up to the experience! This completely enhanced our experience. 

Do you have any field trips do you have planned this year? Have you taken a field trip to the aquarium before? Any tips for future aquarium trips? Hope your October is starting off well!!! 

Until next time, 

"What I Wish I'd Learned in School"

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