I’m always happy to release the sea animals that work so hard visiting schools to give students the chance to learn about them throughout the year. But occasionally there are a few animals that just stand out, and become your favorites. This is my favorite horseshoe crab for this year. His name is Henry (given to him by a student at one of the preschools we visited) and he is the most friendly, calm horseshoe crab I’ve ever known. I released Henry into the sea last night, with all of his other horseshoe crab friends. If you’re at the beach and you meet Henry this summer, tell him “hi” for me. You’ll know him because he’ll be the one who excitedly swims right up to you when you ask, “Who wants to come to a school today?!”
Thanks to the wonderful staff and students at Teachable Moments Childhood Program in Stoneham for a great visit to their school yesterday. It was a fantastic way to finish off our spring and early summer programs. Even the youngest students touched the animals, and everyone enjoyed the touch tanks full of seaside creatures. I loved listening to all the sea stories and sea songs that teachers used to get the children into a great sea mood! Thanks to all of the great people at Teachable Moments for inviting us in to share some time with some amazing sea animals and students!
Magical Beginnings in Peabody kicked off their summer session today with a sea animal program to start a two week study of the ocean. There was no real favorite animal today, students loved them all, from the slippery footed moon snail, to the horseshoe crab, to the sea star, to the often intimidating jonah crab. I’ve never seen so many students pick up the jonah crab! (They got some great pictures.) Thanks to the staff and students for inviting us in, and making us feel so at home. And a special thanks to the student helpers who helped bring all my sea things downstairs to the cool basement classroom. Have a great summer!
Middleton Magical Beginnings was a cool spot today, as compared to the ninety-plus degrees outside. Vacations made groups a little smaller today, which gave interested students extra time with the animals. These students were like sponges, absorbing everything they learned about the sea animals they were holding. It was amazing how much these students retained, and lots of fun to hear them tell me all about the animals they were experiencing. I’m sure that when they encounter similar animals at the beach this summer, they’ll be able to tell their family and friends all about these amazing sea creatures.
The record 90 degree temperatures made the cool salt water and sea animals even more inviting at Magical Beginnings in Wakefield today. Thanks to the staff and students for a fun morning. It was the first time many of the students had actually held a moon snail or patted a horseshoe crab. It was great fun exploring with them. Thanks, and have a wonderful summer!
I was very excited to visit the Mount Hope Christian School today, on the second day of their summer program. I met so many wonderful students, parents and staff, and couldn’t help but be swept away by their enthusiasm. There were so many great questions about the sea animals from students as well as parents, and “The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab” book and the real, live horseshoe crab were a big hit. The wide range of ages at the school only served to enhance the experience. Thanks to the staff and students at Mount Hope Christian School for inviting us to kick off your summer program. Have a fun summer!
Each year, the Ecological Research & Development Group, Inc. sponsors an annual Horseshoe Crabs and the Arts Competition for students pre-K through 12th grade. Entries may include poems, tales, and images with a horseshoe crab theme, and can be submitted through classroom teachers or individually. To learn more about this exciting competition, just click on this “Just Flip em” page link:
http://janicepetrie.com/just-flip-em/ and scroll to the bottom.
The sun came out and the weather was beautiful for our visit to the Children’s Gathering Day School in Wakefield today. It was so much fun returning to Wakefield, and to another school I’ve visited in the past. This year’s students had just finished studying the sea and were able to tell me the name of each sea animal I brought. I was very impressed! Students asked some great questions about the horseshoe crab, and most everyone patted his smooth shell. Many students enjoyed holding the jonah and hermit crabs, but the biggest hit was once again, the slippery footed moon snail. Stay tuned… the next book that I’m illustrating this summer has the moon snail as its star. Thanks to the wonderful staff of the Children’s Gathering Day School for inviting us in for a fun day with some great kids!
We are very excited to learn that “The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab” book has just reached the Amazon Best Seller Rank of #92 in children’s books about marine life. Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased a book. Enjoy!!
Thanks to Andover Rompers Nursery School in Andover for inviting us in for a fun two day visit. It was great to be back, and catch up with the wonderful teachers there. Students were very excited to spend time with the sea animals, and the dog whelk finally rose to the status of a favorite animal. Usually that status is reserved for the jonah crab, the green crab, the lobster, the horseshoe crab, or the moon snail, which also were tops for favorite animals. While packing up, I was treated to a rehearsal of their graduation concert, which sounded wonderful. Have a fun graduation party, and a spectacular summer!