Summer is winding down, but the sun is still shining strong and the temperatures remain moderate, making this a wonderful time to fit freshwater habitats into your homeschooling schedule. To help you in this pursuit, Columbus Metro Parks are offering a variety of workshops throughout the month on the topic.
When you head to your Metro Park, keep a few things in mind. Be prepared to get wet. Rubber boots or old tennies that you don't mind getting soggy are a good idea and keep a change of dry shoes and socks in the car. You could stay on the banks and stay dry, but what would be the point? Kids will learn more if they are in on the action. Plan to get close and immerse yourselves in the workshop for the most rewarding experience.
The first opportunity for freshwater study in September will be on the 5th at Blacklick Woods for a Creek Exploration. The fun will begin at 1 pm. Be prepared for a 2-mile hike along the creek.
Chestnut Ridge will explore Pond Life on the 6th. Participants and try to catch pond life from the dock as well as enjoy a pond life display starting at 1 pm.
There will be two opportunities on Labor Day, September 7th. Sharon Woods offers a Pond Safari from 2 - 7 pm where participants will be able to use nets and containers to capture and observe pond life. Three Creeks will have a Creek Exploration at 4 pm where you can use nets, buckets and scoops to search the creek for life.
If your Labor Day weekend is booked, head to Battelle-Darby Creek on the 12th Mussel Mania. Starting at 1 pm, you can wade the creek and dig for freshwater mussels.
Both Blacklick Woods and Highbanks offer workshops on the 26th. Blacklick's Creek Exploratiion will be from 1 to 4 pm and will include capturing critters, tram rides, and even fish printing. Highbank's Family River Romp will occure from 2 to 4 pm and will meet in the Big Meadows Picnic Area.
FInally, on the 27th, Slate Run will have What's in the Creek? The workshop will begin at 3 pm. Participants will wade in the creeks in search of insects as well as play with soft creek clay.
When you get home, (or perhaps before you go) turn the experience into a full unit study using some of the great sources on the internet. Try Freshwater Habitats from Discovery Education for 6th through 8th graders or Life in Freshwater Habitats from Learning through Listening. For more ideas, Lesson Planet has 534 freshwater habitat lesson plans listed. You could also try Life in a Pond from Hotchalk.
Whatever route you choose, freshwater habitats can be a rewarding addition to your school days in September!