The entire middle school went to the salt marsh just north of Huntington Beach on Tuesday, November 4. They spent the first part of the day learning to use oil pastels by painting a landscape with Mrs. Patrick, experiencing some of the joys and challenges of making art en plein air. Throughout the day, students gathered details about the beautiful setting to be used as imagery in a descriptive paragraph that everyone is writing for Mrs. Crosby. They paid attention to their five senses and will write about how the mud felt and smelled, for example. Finally, they dug clams and oysters out of the mud with Dr. Neubauer.
“I hit the jackpot,” says Wilfredo, “I kept finding a bunch of them together.” “I caught a crab,” reports Adara and Tiyon admits, “I was up to my waist in water!” Some people had challenges. “My shoes had a hole and kept filling up with water,” says Bronwen, and apparently Zachary and Mrs. Crosby got stuck temporarily in the mud. Sundiante says her favorite part of the day was catching the clams and oysters.
Students brought their bounty back to town in buckets. The next day, Biology students dissected the largest clams in their lab while Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. Patrick and Dr. Gates set up a “kitchen” on the sidewalk outside our building for the rest. Dr. Gates steamed the clams and oysters while Mrs. Patrick made New England clam chowder. When lunchtime came, the table was covered in delicious seafood. “This is great!” said Maston as he downed his thirtieth clam, seasoned with a bit of Tabasco. We are proud of all the kids who tried clams, oysters and chowder for the first time! Thanks to Dr. Neubauer, Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. Patrick and Dr. Gates for a delicious culinary, artistic and scientific experience.