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Nature Study: Crayfish

In October, we enjoyed a wonderful nature study discovery at a little pond in our neighborhood…crayfish! We started by finding several shells and talked about the molting process.
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Then we found raccoon prints in the shallow parts of the lake. We read several books in the following week about raccoons to learn more and see the connection they have with crayfish.
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We found a large crayfish that had recently died and floated to shore. It was about 6 inches long!
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We also looked in the brook nearby and found several smaller crayfish that were 1-2″ long.
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The next day we came back with our nets in the hopes of catching a few crayfish to bring home and observe. The kids had fun exploring the ponds and nearby brooks. We didn’t find any crayfish, but we watched a friendly mallard duck and 3 small snakes.
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We reviewed the anatomy of a crayfish in our Handbook of Nature Study, by Anna Botsford Comstock and then we all spent time drawing crayfish in our nature notebooks.

picture-1228Bud – Age 7

picture-1229Peanut – Age 5

picture-1230My journal entry

We also read and Bud narrated several great books about crustaceans and raccoons.

  • Lobster’s Secret, by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck
  • Hermit Crab’s Home: Safe in a Shell, by Janet Halfmann and Bob Dacey & Debra Bandelin
  • Dancing on the Sand: A Story of an Atlantic Blue Crab, by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck and Joanie Popeo
  • Character Sketches from the Pages of Scripture, Illustrated in the World of Nature, Vol. 1, by Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts
  • Raccoon At Clear Creek Road, by Carolyn Otto

It was a wonderful study and we enjoyed being outside in the clean, fresh air making discoveries and observations.

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