By Haley, Talia, and Karolina, Student Contributors
Fourth grade read the novel Island of the Blue Dolphins. After we finished reading the book, fourth grade went on a field trip to Carpinteria State Beach. We met the tour guides. They showed us pictures of sea otters and other paintings in the book. The tour guide gave us chia seeds that we ate. She told us that in moisture the chia seeds expand so you would stay full, and that if someone got sand in their eyes, the chia seeds got slippery, and
you would put them in your eyes!
After she spoke to us, we went down near the water. She told us to search the beach to find things we could use to make tools. We were not allowed to take them home, but parents took pictures of us. People found and made many different things. All of fourth grade was very resourceful.
One of our activities was smoothing out planks of knobbly wood. In a basket, there were folded pairs of gloves, and scallop and clam shells. There were about six of us at a time. We put on the prickly pairs of gloves, and grabbed a shell. Using the edges, we scraped to wood, making sawdust.
We also got partway through making a canoe. They had the planks and pieces of twine ready. It was a little like putting puzzle pieces together. We arranged the wood and tied them together with the twine. However, we didn’t finish it.
Another thing we did was to paint wooden boards. The tour guides had everything ready. Paintbrushes made out of yucca fibers rested in wooden bowls. There was also a mixture of red ochre and water in the bowls. Pieces of wood were lain around. We held the unfrayed end of the yucca fibers and dipped it into the water, then stroked it onto the wood, turning it a rich reddish-brown.
Hollowing out stone bowls was another thing we did like Karana. We took a big rock and a small rock. We placed the larger stone down and with the smaller one we started scraping the middle of the larger rock. It took a while, but then there would start to be a dip in the stone like a bowl.
The last thing we did was take yucca fiber and with a stone we gently pressed the rock against the yucca fiber and soon it became wet and sticky. We dipped the sticky yucca fiber in water for sixty seconds. When we took it out of the water, we stripped it into very thin pieces. Finally, we took three thin pieces and twisted them together to make one piece. We learned that Karana used that as string. We all really like it there and we hope we can go there again soon.
This and all field trips are paid for with your Jog-a-thon donations. Special thanks to our parent drivers for donating their time and gas and to our teachers for arranging this wonderful hands-on experience for our tigers.
Photo Credits: Thank you to Denise Bolish, Becky Brown, and Patty Stouch for sharing their photos with us.