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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sea Monkey Unit Review

That's right...two, two, two reviews in one day!  It took me so long to get to the Space/Sky Unit Review that we've already gotten through another unit.  Honestly, though, this was a short unit: Sea Monkeys.  I didn't know anything about sea monkeys before this and had never tried to raise them.  But Jace got some from Aunt Kate and Uncle Jared as a thank you for being in their wedding and he's been asking to open his little pets ever since.  That was in June. 

A few weeks ago Gracie suggested that we do a unit on them.  It didn't seem like such a bad idea, and if we did that we'd not only learn something but actually get to open Jace's three month old present!

So, this past week we looked at sea monkeys.  Honestly, I'm not sure our little brood is doing so well.  I can only see one in there today.  We might have to get new eggs, or cysts as we now know they're called.  If we can get some to live for more than a few days we'll have an ongoing study and pets!

We used a lot of web sites for our studies this week. 
The Official Sea Monkey Web Site
Captain's Universe

The reason we focused mainly on Internet learning is that there's not a lot out there in books about sea monkeys, which are actually called brine shrimp or artemia salina.  Looking at scientific classification, they're in the order known as fairy shrimp...Gracie was mighty excited about that little fact!

We took our vocab words from this study, but had shortened lists of five words for Jace and three for Gracie.  There are only so many words fit for 5 and 7 year olds in the world of sea monkeys!  Jace made a classification chart with the scientific names.  I gave him the option to use common names (crustacean rather than crustacea) but he opted for the scientific ones.  No surprise there!  Gracie colored a couple pictures of brine shrimp, a baby (naupilus) and an adult.  We labeled them together and compared them.  Jace noted that if our digestive tracts were as straight as theirs we'd probably have to eat in the bathroom.  Such a clever boy!

We did look in books to see other crustaceans that were more widely written about and ended the week with a field trip to the Poulsbo Marine Science Center.  They focus on our Western Washington coastal creatures and waters, but I figured it was close enough!  The kids got to touch and feed and enjoyed themselves a lot!

Sea Monkeys are a lot of fun and not a lot of work (so I read...our first attempt at raising them may not be the best example) so if you're looking for a fun and different gift for someone this Christmas...try a sea monkey aquarium.  Why not?

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