Franklin Countys First News

Kindergarteners get up close and personal with the Atlantic Ocean

Freeport clammer Clint Goodenow (middle) helps Kindergartener Yoyo Sun hold a lobster.

FARMINGTON - Roughly 100 Kindergarteners at W.G. Mallett School had the chance to experience the Maine ocean this week with a visit from Freeport clammer Clint Goodenow.

Goodenow's daughter, Hannah Goodenow, has taught Kindergarten at Mallett for three years after graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in early childhood. Growing up with ocean, Hannah said she was excited to bring a piece of her home to her students.

"Only three of my students have ever been to the ocean, so it was pretty cool to see them experience the touch tank," she said.

Clint Goodenow has been a clammer his entire life, adopting the skill from his own father. He has taken the job further than just digging up the delicacy however, starting the Maine Clammers Association to help educate the public on the industry. In addition, the association raises money to help other clamming communities who may be struggling. The touch tank was started as a way to tie the education into local classrooms. Clint has visited classrooms all over the coast of Maine with his piece of ocean, but hadn't ventured inland until his daughter began teaching in the area.

"They didn't know what a barnacle was. Let alone a blood worm or a horseshoe crab," Hannah said.

Before the visit, her students took wild guesses as to what might be visiting them all the way from the Atlantic Ocean- some guessed a shark while others thought maybe it would be a whale. The experience not only brought lobsters, crabs, bloodworms, starfish and clams for the students to interact with, it also tied into several of the lessons they had been working on in class.

"We just started a non-fiction unit, so it tied in really well to that. It also emphasized our living and non-living standard and taught them about life cycles and ecosystems," she said.

The students were asked to pick a creature of their choice to do a follow up report on, which Hannah said they were enthusiastic about. Many of the students, she said, wanted nothing to do with touching the unfamiliar creatures at first, but by the end of the meet and greet every one of them had held a new friend, including the lobster.

"The visit was on Monday and they were still talking about it at the end of the week," Hannah said.

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1 Responses »

  1. Many thanks to the Goodenows and the Mallet school for providing this eye-opening opportunity for growth and curiosity.