Last week, students of The Bolles Lower School in Ponte Vedra Beach spent two days learning about the ocean first-hand at Mickler’s Beach. The field trips, which took place April 12-13, included various hands-on activities that allowed the kids to learn through interaction with the beach environment.
“The beach day is about taking the classroom outside of the classroom and onto the beach,” said Amy Coles, who teaches reading and language arts. “The related arts teachers were each in charge of finding a fun, educational activity for [the students] to do outside on the beach that were related to the beach as well.”
Activities included a photographic scavenger hunt, beach art, science and exploration, story time, sand castle-building and a game that involved using beach towels to catch and toss volleyballs. The pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students rotated from station to station, ensuring each child had the opportunity to try all activities.
“This is a special thing,” science teacher Carolyn Houston said. “We’ve been to the beach twice this year, and they absolutely love it. It’s a nice way to spend the day, and our beaches are so amazing that it’s hard not to teach about them.”
Houston, who helped to organize the event, said she felt the students benefited from the experience in multiple ways.
“I actually think they learn more from the hands-on, interactive experiences than from me teaching about the stuff in the classroom,” she said. “They walk away with the knowledge and the understanding, and have, hopefully, a little more respect for our natural world and this particular, very special environment that we live in.”