Mountains in Clouds
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Session 2 July 2

We started the morning with a Gratitude Circle. Then we jumped straight into practicing their play "The Crystal of Ofeedia".

Then it started raining so we went to the greenhouse to discuss the topic for today: Water pollution and the Water Cycle. After a quick review of the watercycle, we talked about how the cycle is more like a web than a perfect circle. A water molecule may travel through an ocean animal or plant, which is often not included in the general watercycle lesson. Explorers rolled dice to see where they went as a water molecule and recorded their journey on a sheet to discuss afterwards. Many molecules kept getting cycled back to the ocean rather than ever making it to land, plants or soil. Others remained in a glacier for several turns before moving back to the ocean. Then we discussed water pollution and they played the same game but this time had to record whether they got polluted or not. We talked about the different ways they became polluted during their journey as a water molecule. Some examples included oil spill, acid rain, pesticide run -off, etc.

Then during snack I read the Story of Walter the Water Molecule and his journey through the water cycle. And they illustrated their favorite part of the story with watercolor paint, acrylic paint and oil pastels.

Next we played Ocean Jenga. The jenga blocks were stacked in a food chain from phytoplankton to zooplankton to krill to fish and whales. The goal was for each explorer to have a turn without it falling. Some natural and some human caused events occured that affected the stability of the Jenga tower.

Then they played Fishy Fates. They sneaked up and took an egg from me and had to sneak it back without getting caught. Then they opened their egg to read a scenario and see if they survived. There were natural and unatural scenarios that affected them as a fish. For example, some were victims of pollution or predators, others lived long safe lives in a conservation lake.

At the creek they completed a physical and chemical analysis of the creek water. After filling a tube of water and placing the testing stick in it for 6 seconds, they compared the color on the test to a key which gave information about the ph, amount of chlorine, copper, lead, etc. The creek was good on all parts! There were some parts of the test intended for a pool that didn't apply to the creek. We also did a physical assessment for erosion, natural currents, and overall physical health of the creek which we concluded was Good/Fair on all except maybe some erosion in places. We also noted that the presence of so many aquatic macroinvertebrates(dragonfly nymphs, crawfish, etc), minnows and water beetles was a sign that it was definitely a healthy, clean ecosystem.

We also saw a huge beautiful spider web with raindrops on it, found a crawfish claw (maybe it got in a battle with another crawfish and lost it?!?!) and a salamander. The resident water snake also poked its head out a few times but was too scared of us to come out.

Lastly, they practiced and performed their original play for parents and guardians.