This week we got to work on transforming our classroom into Acadia for next week's National Parks Day! While each of us works on studying and creating a display for our animals of Acadia, we also got together with our small group partners and put our ideas together to make a plan for transforming parts of our classrooms into the various destinations around the park.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ms. Riley's friend Mr. Matt came to visit our classroom to tell us all about Acadia and the other National Parks he's visited. Mr. Matt works for an Outdoor Education Center in Texas during the school year and he works at the Acadia Institute of Oceanography every summer, so he knows a lot about Acadia and he's been able to travel to many other National Parks in his travels!
We learned that Yellowstone was the first piece of land to be declared as a National Park because its many hot springs made it difficult to develop on, and this inspired others to deem other large chunks of uninhabitable land as National Parks around the country. Many people already owned and inhabited much of the land on Mount Desert Island where Acadia National Park is located, and even though people were able to live on the land around the island, they still felt it should be preserved so others could explore there. John D. Rockefeller was one of these donors, and he also financed the construction of the carriage roads throughout the park so people would feel free to explore it on foot, by horse, or by bike.
Mr. Matt told us a bit about some of the animals they study at AIO, and took us outside to play a great game called "Happy Clam!" 1-2 giraffes were chosen to be pollutants, while the rest of us were clams in the ocean. If clams were tagged by the pollutant, they had to freeze in place and call for help before two clams could save them by joining hands around the frozen clam and shouting "happy clam!" three times. If someone was unfrozen three times, they became SUPER CLAMS and could tag the pollutants.
Animals like clams, mussels, and oysters are very susceptible to pollution in the water, but we can only work to stop it by working together!
Eventually, we were able to work together to defeat the pollutants and keep all the clams happy :)
Everyone really enjoyed Mr. Matt's visit to the giraffe class, and we hope he has an awesome summer up in Acadia!