We have made every Monday our field trip day and library day. This month was Swaptember, the month that you can visit ZooTampa, The Florida Aquarium, and MOSI for free if you have a pass to one of them. We decided to visit The Florida Aquarium every Monday since we are getting a MOSI membership.
The first visit to The Florida Aquarium, we just had fun and didn’t do any worksheet while there. They have changed so much since we’ve been there last, about two years ago. They have a 4D theater which was so much fun. We watched a movie about sharks and were sprayed with water and almost got bitten by a shark! They also have an “Octonauts” movie they show but the boys said no to seeing that one. Something about being too old :l
They use to have stingrays in a touch tank by the stairs on the bottom floor, now, they have jellyfish. It’s something different and they have lots of signs up to learn about the jellyfish. In the picture above, they are standing in front of a tank that is full of the jellyfish and has water running down the outside of it.
On the Mondays that we went to the aquarium, there was a table set up with an employee at it teaching kids about sharks and had different shark teeth to look at. They also had different shells that you can find at Florida beaches. On the weekend, they had an employee there with a penguin teaching the kids about penguins and their habitats.
We then headed upstairs to follow the path the aquarium suggests you go on to view everything. One of the things we really liked was reading about the photos on the walls, it was interesting to read how the photographer got the photos and what they were. They also have a hidden section upstairs near the Madagascar exhibit. They teach you about coral and you can see what they are doing to grow coral. This section is outside so keep your eyes open and look for it. One of the days we went, the boys had to do a scavenger hunt and this is where they began the hunt. I got them each a clipboard and that helped a lot and made it easier for them so they didn’t have to find surfaces to write on. The Florida Aquarium has their own scavenger hunt that you can use or you can find one on TeachersPayTeachers.com.
Another Monday, we did an observation worksheet I found on the internet. Gavin picked sharks to observe and Logan picked the sea turtles. We went to the big tank and sat in the front row for 35 minutes. They recorded the behaviors and how they looked. They had to draw pictures and label parts. Yes we used Google to make sure we learned and named the parts correctly.
The aquarium has a new vibe to it then it did a few years ago. They promote saving the environment so much better now than they use to. Throughout the aquarium, you see signs telling you how you can help save the environment and at the end of the path, they have a whole wall dedicated to giving you suggestions. They also have a Stormwater Trail for you to follow and learn how ponds and gardens are working to clean bays and oceans.
The Florida Aquarium offers Homeschool classes monthly and field experiences. I haven’t tried the classes yet but we will be checking them out in the near future.
After our field trip on Mondays we visit the public library. The boys got their library cards and they check out their reading books with their own cards. When they were in school, they just used their student numbers to check out books. They go to the children’s section and look for chapter books while I go look for books for myself. I have to approve all their books, otherwise they would probably pick easy books. We will be working our way to non-fiction books soon. They have to read 20 minutes every day and then sometimes answer two questions about their reading or do a worksheet. I found a list of questions and a worksheet on TeachersPayTeachers.com.