Franklin Countys First News

Ocean creatures wow young students

Kindergarten throught second grade students explore a touch tank full of seas creatures on Monday at Mallett School. The activity is part of the extended school summer learning class.

Kindergarten through second-grade students explore a touch tank full of seas creatures on Monday at Mallett School. The activity is part of the extended school summer learning program. At right in a baseball cap is Clinton Goodenow of Freeport, who brought the touch tank as part of the Maine Clammers Association's educational program.

Mallett School second grade teacher, Hannah Goodenow and student Brokkelynn Nightingale hum to a hermit crab to try and coax it to make an appearance at a class activity held at Mallett School on Monday.

Mallett School second grade teacher, Hannah Goodenow and student Brokkelynn Nightingale, at left, hum to a hermit crab to try and coax it out to make an appearance at a class activity held at Mallett School on Monday.

FARMINGTON - Ocean critters stopped by to visit students attending the summer learning program at W.G. Mallett School on Monday.

The full day summer program, which runs Monday through Thursdays, currently has 47 kindergarten through second-grade students from across the Mt. Blue Regional School District attending class.

The morning session is the established extended school program which reinforces core academic studies and the new afternoon program provides enrichment activities such as arts and crafts, outdoor programs and field trips, said Principal Tracy Williams.

The afternoon session is thanks to the Century 21 grant, administered by the Maine Department of Education. The collaborative is a unique partnership between the Franklin County Children's Task Force and the school district's administrators that provided for the creation of all-inclusive after school programs year round.

All of the young students in the summer learning program know for sure is that the ocean holds an incredible variety of creatures, thanks to a touch tank brought to the school by Clinton Goodenow of Freeport.

Andy Nguyen holds up a horseshoe crab in a summer learning camp held at Mallett School.

Andy Nguyen holds up a horseshoe crab from a touch tank as part of the summer learning program held at Mallett School.

Mallett School second grade teacher, Hannah Goodenow, invited her father to bring the touch tank of clams, lobsters, starfish, and more, so students could get an up close look and feel of them. Clinton Goodenow, treasurer of the Maine Clammers Association, regularly travels to classrooms as part of an education program that brings awareness of what lies or swims under the sea.

Hannah Goodenow said it was decided to use Maine as the summer class theme. Integrating math skills, for instance, may involve adding or subtracting shells,  reading is centered on books about the ocean and the students are writing about Maine's plants and animals in their nature journals.

A student holding up a razor clam and having it squirt brought giggles. Questions like "does it bite" were popular before small hands dared to pick up a starfish or horseshoe crab. There were precise descriptions while holding each. "It's sloppy" one student opined while another through a piece of kelp was slippery.

Goodenow hummed with her students to coax a hermit crab from its formidable shell, but to no avail.  As Kaelyn Parlin was leaving for other class activities, she asked Clinton Goodenow, "Can you come back?"

Kaelyn Parlin carefully holds a rock crab, which is holding an oyster from a touch tank brought Mallett School on Monday.

Kaelyn Parlin carefully holds a rock crab, which is holding an oyster from a touch tank brought Mallett School on Monday.

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1 Responses »

  1. Priceless pictures! What a great learning opportunity!

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