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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mother Goose Time, Oyster Pearls Craft and the Letter "O"

Oyster Pearls Craft and Lesson

Mother Goose Time shared a wonderful oyster pearls lesson plan with us this month, as part of the Ocean Commotion theme for April.

The girls loved making their own oyster shells with pearl bracelets inside!

Ages: Pre-K and up

  • Beads (real pearls can be white, pink, yellow, green, blue, brown or black)
  • Paper plate
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Paint

Holding up the paper plate, we discussed how the paper plate is shaped like an "o", as in oyster.

We looked at pictures of oysters and oyster pearls. I showed them a real pearl necklace, too.

I decided to show my daughters a video on youtube explaining why oysters have pearls. It's pretty
gross, but it's nice that something pretty can be made out of something so gross. The video explains that either a parasite or a grain of sand gets stuck inside the oyster. The oyster protects itself from the foreign matter by covering the grain of sand or parasite with lacquer, which is hexagonal aragonite crystals of calcium carbonate. (Of course, they don't know exactly what those words mean, but they get the general idea when they see the video show the process.)

Then, the girls got to paint their oyster shells. First, they painted the inside. They decided on yellow, even though it's usually pink. (Mother Goose Time included most of the needed supplies.)

As one side of the paper plate dried, they worked on their bracelets.

They strung several white beads onto the pipe cleaners.

"Look, a pearl bracelet!"

After they finished making their bracelets, they painted the outside shell (other side of the paper plate).

We folded the wet, painted plates and let it dry that way, so they would look like a oyster shells.

Field Trip to See Real Oysters and Pearls

One thing we love to do is go on field trips to see exactly what we are learning about in the real world. So, we went to Downtown Disney and visited one of the oyster shell

We were tempted to buy a pearl, but we just looked at them. :) The jewelers have the oysters in the shell, and if you decide to buy one, they will open the shell for you and you can pick out jewelry to have the jewelers set the pearl in.

You can see the oysters with pearls inside here.

After you choose and oyster and take out the pearl, you can get jewelry for your pearl.

It was fun for the girls to see a real oyster shell, create their own oyster shells and pearl bracelets, while really having an understanding of where real pearls come from... The ocean, not a bucket.

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