The Molokai team has started off the school year with a splash!! The keiki have enjoyed learning about the ocean and the creatures that exist in its’ depths. We brought in papa‘i, i‘a, and ‘opae for the keiki to observe at site. The keiki loved learning about how to malama I ke kai from our new Tutu puppet, that is on loan from the Alu Like Native Hawaiian library. They also made honu and ‘opihi art that are now displayed in the Moloka‘i Family Health Center. Hopefully, it will make each routine doctor visit more enjoyable, for the keiki. They even came up with a way to malama I ka ‘aina by starting their own recycling drive. We will collect the cans, track our progress, and use the money to enhance the program.
To wrap up our ocean month, we went to the tide pools at One Ali‘i Beach Park. The keiki were able to observe ocean habitats and the surrounding environment. We explored crab holes and caught sand crabs with a net. The keiki loved feeling the textured crab shells in their hands. Our certified lifeguard and Science Teacher, Kalaniua Ritte, caught a pipipi, tadpoles, guppies, ‘a‘ama (black rock crabs), a freshly abandoned lobster shell and a puhi (moray eel) for the keiki to observe.
We ended the day by reading “Going to the Tide pools in Hawai‘i Nei” and reflected on our days’ adventure. We reminded our keiki that we need to protect and respect ocean creatures and that Uncle Kalaniua is a trained lifeguard, and they should not touch the sea life when they go to the beach.
No animals were harmed by our tide pool exploration and all sea life was released back into their natural habitats. However, some of our classroom fish were not so lucky. They left with full bellies and priceless memories, Rest in Peace little fish.