Studying Invertebrates/Vertebrates, Mollusks and Crustaceans

One of the topics that has evolved through our marine life investigation has been vertebrates and invertebrates.  The children have began to understand this concept, so we are now moving on to understand the difference between mollusks and crustaceans.

We have added crabs, shrimp, and snails to our tank which is helping to bring this investigation to life.  The children can research these topics in books, online and in REAL LIFE.

On this particular day, we brought in crab, shrimp, clams, lobsters and fish to observe and dissect in order to reinforce the knowledge we are obtaining from this study.

The children took turns handling the specimens as we talked about what characteristics make up crustaceans and mollusks as well as vertebrates and invertebrates.We have been studying the anatomy of a fish.  We were able to look at the fish close up and touch the different fins.  We were surprised that the dorsal fin was so “sharp and spiky”!We broke up into small groups to investigate each specimen by itself.  We talked about the anatomy while referring to diagrams, we drew detailed pictures, and we even dissected!by Kylieby AmandaBy Kyleby KierstenCoach Chip helped us dissect and analyze the anatomy of the lobster.We looked at the difference in the size of the crab claws, the shrimp and the clams.The children made drawings of the clams and the shrimp.When we were done, we sat down to read a book on the coral reef.  We were able to reflect on what we learned today, and have a conversation about what animals we should add to the saltwater tank.  The children are understanding the food chain, and what animals should and shouldn’t be contained together.

“Nemo” and the star fish will be added to our tank this week!  We can’t
HJ wait.

This project helped us reach these goals:

  • Scientific investigation and reasoning.  The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures and uses environmentally appropriate and responsible practices.  They discuss the importance of safe practices to keep self and others safe and healthy.
  • The student develops abilities to ask questions about organisms, objects and events observed in the natural world.
  • Plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations such as way objects move.
  • Record and organize data and observations using pictures, numbers and words.
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