On Wednesday October 3rd, The seventh grade class visited the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center at Jones Beach, and were led on a marsh walk by Emily, a naturalist at the center. The trip helped reinforce concepts that our class studied in two of our lessons. In our Asian Geography Main Lesson block we learned about the Jordan River Valley and the restored marshes of Iraq. In our regular Environmental Science class, we expanded our conversation about marshes to include their ecosystems. Through our marsh walk, we were able to connect these various ideas to our own Long Island environment.
As we walked along the shore, Emily would circle raccoon or egret footprints, and point out crab molts and horseshoe crabs for the students to investigate. One student inquired about the scientific names of the grasses, in order to compare them to the reeds in Iraq. The class found shells, living hermit crabs, and fish. They also observed the migrating oystercatchers (a species of bird).
Some of the students chose to explore the shore in silence when they were given some free time to do so.
After our walk, we picnicked behind the nature center and explored the boardwalk that led into the dunes where we spotted monarch butterflies on bright yellow flowers.
It was a beautiful day.