Seashells in Schools
The concept is to put seashells into the hands of the kids, along with "Flash-cards" summarizing many of the interesting facts about the respective shells. A poster will sum up the information about seashells, and the teacher will conduct lessons for the kids ranging from merely admiring the shells in their hands to the habitats they live in, their vulnerability, and the necessity to protect them.
How can each of us contribute to protecting the seas and all of our planet?
Some examples given, such as "don't litter," or "don't waste water." Towards the end of the lesson, which are scheduled to last approximately two hours, the students are asked to contribute with their own ideas what each of us can do.
The uniqueness about the seashells is that they can be handed out to kids without any danger of allergic reactions or whatever may be considered a threat in class. Yet, they transport all of the fascination that are inherent to them: the deadly poisonous barb of the Cone shell, the healing powers its toxins may have for us, the shiny cowries that were used as currency some 4,000 years, and the trick of how river mussels use fish to carry their larvae. With these fun facts in mind, the kids can return home with information their parents do not have. The lesson encourages them to gain more information, and to make their own observations.
Our plan is to test this teaching unit in schools and work together with teachers to fine-tune the concept. This is currently being used in multiple grade schools as part of their curricula and being evaluated. If the program is successful in the USA, it can be converted to be used in other countries.
A similar project is currently being conducted in several schools in Belgium, initiated and led by our affiliates David and Kevin Monsecour.