Age Groups: K-3
Length of Sessions: ½ hour - 45 minute session
Program Description: Who swims upside down on their back? Who dives with a bubble as an air tank? Who is the artist of the pond creating a camouflage cottage to hide in, swim in and sleep in? Discover these and other fascinating creatures of the pond and wetlands.
1. Students will learn about the various adaptations that pond critters need for survival.
2. They will take a peek into the lives of those not often seen.
3. They will discover that the aquatic habitat is teaming with life in all seasons!
Materials: Song of the Water Boatman by Joyce Sidman, google eyes, pipe cleaners, shells (pasta), manicotti shells (pasta), popsicle sticks, bow tie (pasta), paint, markers, crayons, TP rolls, beans, rice, shredded paper, paper towels, wet wipes, critters from a pond, LIVE frog, toad, salamander or tadpole.
1. What type of animals lives in ponds?
2. What are some different aquatic habitats? What makes aquatic animals special and different from other animals?
3. Have they ever dipped nets into a pond? What did they find?
Tell them we are going to find out what makes ponds and wetlands special and who calls these habitats home. Read the story Song of the Water Boatman. Either read all of the poems, pick out a few, or let the children pick some out. As you read the story ask them questions and get them involved. For older kids there is additional information about the specific animals mentioned usually on the opposite page.
The Shrinkin’ Habitat Blues Song:
This site has this song to listen to:
In this Elvis-inspired number, a toad tells his tale of woe. His kind is endangered due to habitat destruction and he laments, “There used to be a pond here, now there’s this high-rise hotel (and they don’t take toads)!” Can we find a way to share our world with this “unhuggable” critter? -- Lucas Miller
Since my soggy home got filled in,
I've got no place to dwell
I'm down on my luck and I'm down in the muck and
I'm not doing so well
There used to be a pond here,
But now there's a high-rise hotel
And I'm looking for a new home,
It's not so easy, let me tell
Chorus: I've got the low-down, shrinkin' habitat blues
I'm the Houston toad. Can't you hear me calling you?
Put yourself in my fins, imagine what it's like
Your habitat is gorgeous and you're singing to girl toads all night
When along comes a bulldozer and mows your whole neighborhood down
And he doesn't even ask just says, "hey, toadie, get out of my town!"
Yes, I may be warty, plump and bug-eyed too
But remember -- I eat lots of bugs that could come bugging you
And if you try and save me some space, I'll help you in the end
I got medicines that could help you hidden in those warts in my skin!
Wonder Walk - Wonder What We Will Find? :
If the weather permits, take them for a brief walk around the library, school or camp. If there is a pond, stream, lake or river or wetland bring nets and check out the macroinvertebrates.
Give each child a TP roll or manicotti shell; have them decorate their casing using crayons, markers, or paint or beans, rice, and shredded paper, depending on the age of the children.
Give each child a pipe cleaner or popsicle stick, using glue, place the shell on the end of the (pipe cleaner/popsicle stick) using glue to glue the eyes onto the shell. You might want to do this prior to the program with a glue gun. Either glue or wrap the bow tie pasta around the pipe cleaner or stick just under the head- these are the little legs. Insert the caddisfly into the casing (TP roll/manicotti shell). They now have their own Caddisfly!
Review the things they learn about the creatures that live in ponds, wetlands and streams and bits of the story.