Friday, January 15, 2010

Aquarium Lapbook

My kids love the Aquarium! They could sit and stare at those fish all day long. I really enjoy watching the fish in the Ocean Explorer exhibit the most. It seems so peaceful to watch those giants swim slowly by you. You see the beauty in their design.

We are going to the Aquarium in a few weeks and traditionally we just go and look at the fish and then go home. This year I really wanted to suck the educational life out of our trip!:) So, I create a lap book to go with the different exhibits at the Aquarium. The Aquarium website was a wealth of information as I set out to design the lap book. I settled on creating a double page spread with the exhibit habitat as the background. Then I created mini books featuring some of the animals that the Aquarium has located in this specific habitat.

As far as information for the filling in of the mini books, I have thought of several options for completing that portion. First, I created inserts that can be cut and pasted into the books for younger children. Secondly, I thought that you could use those same pieces to create a type of matching game after your Aquarium visit. Lastly, I thought that we could bring the unfinished lap book along on the trip and the kids could go on a scavenger hunt for these animals and then when they have found them, fill in the books with their observations of the animals. I believe that any of these options could be fun for them and a learning experience. Perhaps you could chose the option that best fits their ability level.

I feel that to optimize the educational opportunities that a field trip can bring you need to give your students background information that they can use as a "hanger", so to speak, for the new knowledge that they will gain during the trip. It is a thrill to see their little faces light up when they discover something during the trip that they have learned at home. They look at you as if to say "it really is true!" You could use books, movies, or Internet sites to provide this background "hanger" for them.

Here are a few that I suggest:

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