Monday, 25 November 2013

Surprising What's on Our Doorstep!

The term started with Year Six investigating our local beach, in particular, our own rocky shore around Days Bay.  We spent the first session learning about the tidal zones, what sorts of things we can see in them, and how to respect the habitat of these living creatures.  In the afternoon, all three classes went down to the beach right on low tide.
They were told that if they were quiet and patient, they would be rewarded.  And boy, they sure were!  It was fantastic to see 60, ten and eleven years old, sitting quietly watching the rockpools.  Soon the noise level began to rise as they began to notice a huge variety of living species.  The boys saw a range of crabs, sea anemones, ragworms, snails, fish, mussels, kina, chitons, limpets and the most amazing hermit crab that had crawled out of a huge Cooks Turban snail shell!
 6O exploring the rock pools 

Some of the crabs and snails that were found in the pools

Once the classes had been given lots of time to explore the pools, the boys then had a chance to share what they had found and to sketch one of the creatures they had seen.  

It was a great afternoon and the boys were really surprised at what they found living right on our doorstep.

In class we followed up our visit with finding out more about our local sea life, we found out about food chains and food webs and the sorts of adaptive features these creatures have which enable them to survive in our rocky shore.

If you haven't been already, I have to strongly recommend you visit the Island Bay Marine Centre.  Open only on Sundays, this has to be one of the best little places to visit in Wellington.  There are touching pools which are filled with a huge range of rock pool life that you can pick up and take a close look at.  Around the walls are tanks filled with a huge array of fish and sea-life, all of which have been found around our Wellington waters.  Many have been fished up by the local fishermen and handed into the marine centre.  The place is staffed by marine biologist students and a few very knowledgeable volunteers.  
Another place to spend some time is around the marine reserve, Taputeranga.  Visit at low tide and you will be absolutely amazed at how the sealife is regenerating and just how many things are living there and how big they have become.

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