First Graders Go Seining in the Bay
From planting and harvesting vegetables in the First School, to living by the principles of Leave No Trace during the Upper School Outdoor Education trips, Key students are immersed in the tenets of being good stewards of the environment, as well as learning the relevance that the natural world has to their work in the classroom.
The first graders recently took some important steps in learning good stewardship when each homeroom went on a seining foray to Hillsmere Beach in support of their Chesapeake Bay unit in Science class. To prepare for their seining expeditions, they learned about the Bay’s varied habitats, including open water, seagrass, oyster reefs, and shoreline. They also studied how ecosystems support what the Bay’s organisms need to survive: food, water, shelter, and space.
The first graders walked to Hillsmere Beach on seining day, which was designed to help them develop a sense of place in the larger Chesapeake Bay area, something riding in a bus cannot give to them. Once there, the fun began. Seining is the oldest type of commercial fishing, dating as far back as the third millennium BC. The first graders’ seining was done in the shallow Bay habitat and yielded a wide variety of fish, vegetation, crabs, and even an American eel! After studying their catch, they let everything go back into the Bay as part of the Leave No Trace principles.
With the Chesapeake Bay right next door, these young students had the unique opportunity to take time in the middle of a normal school day to observe up-close the aquatic life they were studying in the classroom. That is what experiential learning is all about.