Sand Dollar Discovery
I made lab sheets, for them to document what they saw. If you want a copy email me or leave a comment with your email address.
I had a sand dollar from when we went to California last time and pulled out my kid sized Magnifying Glass.
We talked about what a Sand Dollar is:
The sand dollar is a marine invertebrate, a living animal, closely related to the starfish, sea lily, the sea cucumber and the sea urchin. Sand dollars come from the Echinoids class, which means "spiny skinned creature."
Sand Dollar, invertebrate having a flat, circular outer shell. The common sand dollar of the United States is found on sandy bottoms in comparatively shallow water.
The size of the adult shell is about 8 cm (or 3 inches) in diameter on the average and has many small perforations that form a symmetrical petal-like design. You can find larger ones, and tiny little baby ones as well as any size in between.
The entire shell is penetrated by many small, brown spines that give the shell a velvety appearance and enable the animal to move about.
By the time a sand dollar washes up on a beach, it is usually no longer living, and only its shell remains.
Sand dollars obtain food by using their spines and tube feet to engulf sand from which they extract minute plants and animals.
Sand dollars belong to a phylum (family) of marine animals known as echinoderms, which inhabit all the world's oceans and can live in both the shallow and deep-ocean floor.
Scientific classification: Sand dollars belong to the order Clypeasteroida of the class Echinoidea. The common sand dollar of the northeastern United States is classified as Echinarachnius parma.
I believe the Western Sand Dollar to differ from the "Keyhole Sand Dollar" found on the Eastern shores. It tends to not have the five "keyholes" in the shell, and is round, rathers than having those decorative little indentations around the edges.
Though each one has it's own beauty.
So it was time to DISCOVER!!!
The 2 year old was TOTALLY into this!
We talked about the texture and shape and color...
Everyone had different answers.
They thought it was neat that it used to be living.
They also compared the veins on the back to the lines on our hand.
This took up a lot of time. They liked that we were doing "Science"