I remembered a resource I bought a few years prior. Sure enough the resource included a seashore mini-book. I printed one for each child.
Working on our mini-books, the little learners wanted to know exactly what the shells and sea creatures looked like. They want to make sure they colored the organisms the proper color (well, some did!)
To answer their questions, we headed to our home library and found our shell field guide, actually two. Didn't realize we had two! The children and I reviewed how to use an index which enabled the little learners to independently look up the information they needed. Each found desired information and helped one another, excited about the uniqueness of each specimen. One of the field guides included maps, leading to geography discussions and dreams of one day finding "rare" shells we had never seen before. The conversation led to naming continents and oceans, all in an effort to find the most unique shells. Bonus!
One of the learners remembered seeing the tide move in during one of the beach walks. That revelation led to a discussion about tides, when they occur and why.
We talked about several of the shells and fish we found left behind when the tide moved out. We located and watched several online videos about tide pools.
After a few days our shell collection began to smell. We hypothesized about what might be happening. Laying out our shells, we made a discovery. Some of the shells had been alive when they were placed in the sand bucket. Finding a closed shell, one little learner asked if we could pry open the shell and take a look inside. EEEWWW! Impromptu dissection.
Often the best learning lessons are those we stumble upon! Other times they are the times we look, discover, and wonder together. This week has brought us a bit of both, and then some!