This is the second year that I have taken a pond to Sam's school. I visit our nearby pond early in the morning and then bring a pool filled with LOTS of critters to the school yard for all the kids to explore at some point during the day.
This year we started the program out by talking about what lives in a pond and listing off all the big creatures that we see at ponds. Then we read the book "Pond Circle" by Betsy Franco. This story is great because it starts with the small things, algae, nymphs and beetles. And then moves up the food chain to the bigger animals that live near and often visit ponds. I love this story as a way to learn about the little critters in a pond because you can really highlight how the story starts with the little things. That without the little critters there would be no story, there would be no food for the bigger things that we like to watch.
The kids got the chance today to see up close dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, tadpoles, a leech, three different kinds of snails, waterboatmen and a predacious diving beetle. They learned all about each one of these critters and some of the things they do (who they eat, who might eat them, how they move, how they protect themselves, etc.) in the pond.
It was an awesome pond day! Sorry no pictures to share, it is hard for me to teach and play photographer at the same time.