Students in second grade have thoroughly explored various aspects of manatees through in-depth and interactive lessons.
The 17-acre Ft. Myers Manatee Park is a beautiful and unique destination where enthusiastic Out-of-Door students were able to view the endangered Florida Manatee in their non-captive, natural environment in the Orange River. In addition to viewing the manatees, students participated in engaging, interactive lessons about manatees and a scavenger hunt where they had to work collaboratively to find specific plants, animals, and landmarks around the park.
The field trip tied in with the second graders’ manatee unit in marine science. Classes have been learning all about the physiology, adaptations, history, and conservation of manatees, with the field trip to view the animals in the wild as the culminating highlight of their studies. Most recently in their classroom, students were able to examine the bones of a manatee. The skeleton, on loan from the Fish and Wildlife Institute in St. Petersburg, came from a manatee that was killed by a boat strike. Because of this unique opportunity, students were able to have hands-on experience articulating the entire skeleton, including the flippers, helping them to have a better understanding of manatee physiology.