I went back to kindergarten this week and learned how to make an ocean tide pool to have right here in my own home.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium building is closed to visitors. But like churches, we are much more than a building. Just because folks can’t visit the Aquarium or a church building doesn’t mean they/we are not actively doing our mission - be a faith community, inspire conservation of the ocean. You don’t need a building to do that, just teachers and learners, community and faith, imagination and play dough. And technology.
The Aquarium is making all their educational curriculum available free to the public. www.montereybayaquarium.thinkific.com. Or just go to www.montereybayaquarium.org and click on “For Educators.” (Actually all the fab ed resources have always been available free, just now promoted more for learners at home. Lots of other good stuff on the website also.)
Because I am an overachiever I started with the sixth grade curriculum: How to Be a Scientist. I got through “investigate,” “observe,” “collect data,” “communicate.” But I was impatient for something to do hands on. So I tried kindergarten, Tidepool Animals. Not just how to observe what lives in the tide pool. But actually make your own tide pool, in your own quarantined house.
A blue towel or some other blue fabric/paper for water/waves. Drape it over something elevated to show how waves move from high to low. Paper bags crunched up for rocks. Then add in the hermit crab, anemone, sea star you already made. Oh, I skipped that lesson – can you tell I am an impatient learner? Go back, yes, easy, just need egg carton, play dough, sticks, bread tie – hermit crab!
Hands on is good education. Bringing it all into our own homes makes it real.
I recommend these projects for faith communities also - box projects of our love of God and neighbor, ie love of creation. I adore those good wise texts, how to investigate, observe, communicate. But maybe because I am stuck at home without weekly visits to the coast or Aquarium, I want hands on, action, to make a real model of a real tide pool.
What would be my hands-on model of God? It might very well look something like this habitat - funky, blue, moving, beautiful, hand-made and abundant with creatures.
And God looked at all she had created, and called it very good.
I post these ocean devotions every Wednesday here and on Facebook.