Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Lesson 8 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day is all about "Crustaceans."  I have always found crustaceans fascinating and this lesson just encouraged that feeling.  These critters are amazing and quite comical!  Maggie belly-laughed at the description of the way male fiddler crabs attract mates.  We had to read it twice, she enjoyed it so much.
As with every lesson in this book, we use the notebooking journal that accompanies it.  She loves looking back at all the work she has completed in it.
After we learned some general information about crustaceans, we studied their exoskeletons and molting, as well as the anatomy of different crustaceans.
 Daddy brought her home a lobster to dissect!  (He cooked it enough so that she wouldn't be dealing with a live one but kept everything intact so she could see all of its parts, inside and out.)
 Using her text as a guide, she labeled all of its parts.
Under the tail fan, she counted the swimmerets.
 We noticed our lobster had a couple of barnacles on it, too!  Barnacles are another crustacean we learned about in this lesson!
 That's one gnarly-looking cheliped!
 Once she had identified all of its external parts, Daddy cracked it down the middle so they could identify the inside ones.  
 Once the dissection was complete, they cleaned it, seasoned it, baked it through, and ate some lobster for dinner!  Maggie LOVED that part!
 The next day, we continued our lesson with a study of even more crustaceans, including shrimp, krill, and horseshoe crabs.  We watched this neat video about the Christmas Island red crabs at
The video at was fun, too (below)!

Here are a couple of images we found of this migration.
Crustaceans are amazing!  We then focused our attention on hermit crabs with a reading of A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle ...
... and the "Oh Give Me a Home" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! at  (There are two episodes on this video.  The one about the hermit crab is the second part.)
The excerpt on barnacles in this lesson was review for us, as we had done a study on barnacles in the past with a book study of Gramma's Walk by Anna Grossnickle Hines.  Our post about that study can be found at, but here are three pictures from that post.  This first one, below, shows Maggie with the barnacle model she made for a lapbook.  (Follow the link for where to get it.)
 Here, Maggie found some barnacles at the beach,
 They were still living as they came open when covered with water in her bucket.  So neat.
After all of our reading and viewing, it was time for some work in our journals to record what we had learned.
I love her pictures!
For fun, we did a crab maze that we had found online.  (I found this ages ago so I can't give you the source, unfortunately,)
(We added it to our journal.)
You may remember from previous posts that we had recently raised triops.  Well, after a few weeks, we were down to this one who had made a meal of all of his mates.  We were thrilled to read about him in this lesson,  He, too, is a crustacean, and looks a bit like a horseshoe crab, but behaves a bit like a trilobite with his many moving legs.
 Mags decided to write about raising them on her crustacean project sheet in her journal.
 I love her depiction!
We also recently visited the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.  While there, Mags spotted this gnarly crustacean (a Japanese spider crab)!
And, as with every lesson in this book, we finished up our lesson by making models of these critters for our ocean box.  Maggie made the lobster and Daddy made a crab.
 I think her lobster is the cutest thing I've seen all year!
And here is our ocean box, to date!  This is such a great curriculum!
Next up?  Mollusks!

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