Wet lands are areas of land covered by water for at least a portion of each year. In our study we looked at marshes, swamps, fens, and bogs as well as lakes and pools. Wetlands can be fresh or salt water. They are home to some fun animals!
The axolotl is one of our favorite animals from this group of biomes. The kids first learned about axolotl at VBS this year. Then we found one at our zoo! Then we found it in our wetland studies! I love when our studies and activities come together by accident.
I managed to find quite a few books on this topic – more than we could read! I brought a pile of books home from the library, some from the friends sale and some from the library shelves. In the end, we read the books I checked out and put the others on our shelves to read later.
About Habitats: Wetlands by Catherine Sill is full of beautiful pictures and snippets of information. I think that her books make great introductions to the habitats. They grab the attention of my kids and give just enough information to get us going.
Wetlands by Galadriel Watson (we had been on a Lord of the Rings kick in our house – how could we NOT read this book!) It also contains great information on wetlands!
Horrible Habitats: Marshes and Pools by Sharon Katz Cooper had information on “gross” animals! We had fun with this one!
Biomes Atlases: Wetlands by Richard Beatty, again I love the maps and pictures in this series!
Habitats: Wetlands by Ewan McLeish had some great animal information!
Rivers, Lakes, Streams, and Ponds by Richard Beatty was very detailed. This book would be ideal for an older student doing this study.
Looking Closely Around the Pond by Frank Serafini is from another series we have used for several biomes. It is a fun change to look at the pictures and try to guess what it is. We actually did very well on this book, at least one of us (not always me) guessed every picture correctly! We have become more familiar with many animals and plants over the past year, it made the puzzles easier to figure out.
Lakes: World’s Top Ten by Neil Morris is a great resource for information on specific lakes. We did not read this one. I put it on the shelf and will mix it into our geography studies over the next couple of years. It would fit with this study, but since we own the book, I decided to save it because we just had too many books to choose from!
Wetlands are quite varied. We came across many animals that we had already studied. They may not all be found in the same type of wetland. Here are some of our favorites: beavers, salamanders, frogs, alligators, crocodiles, hippopotamus, capybara, flamingo, fish, box turtle, mallard ducks, fish, mosquitoes, leeches, flatworms, dragon fly, and the axolotl.
Our favorite tree was the mangrove. They are beautiful and provide great shelter for many animals! For some fun extra reading, look for The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynne Cherry. I am always excited when I find a fictional story that gives great information. My kids recall more from these living books than from an encyclopedia-type book. Both have their places in a study like this.
Other plants we looked at include: sphagnum moss, Venus fly trap, pitcher plant, lily pad, algae, cattail, cranberry, and rice.
Bog, fen, marsh, and swamps are four specific types of wetlands that we studied. Delta, glaciers, and peat were some new terms we came across in our study. We were able to tie this into our history and Greek studies as we talked about the Nile Delta – how it related to our ancient history studies and how the name came from the shape and its resemblance of the Greek letter Delta. Have I mentioned before how I love when our studies overlap so nicely!
Wetlands can be salt or freshwater.
Look at our lapbook pieces for all the differences we found between alligators and crocodiles!
I have been making lapbooks for two years of classes now. I did a Map Skills class and a year’s worth of biome book sections. I started to get bored with the same shapes over and over. I tried some new things for this lapbook. When we printed them and put them together, they did not turn out as I had anticipated. Sometimes that happens. Have fun with them anyway!
Bonus! We found two more biomes not listed on our map! Next time: Chaparrals and Caves!
Cheryl–Cheryl is a singing, dancing, baking, homeschooling mom of three. She has danced her whole life and taught ballet and theatre for most of her adult life. Her favorite pastime has always been cooking and baking, and as a Pampered Chef Independent Consultant she gets to share that love with others. Home educating her three children has been and continues to be one of her greatest learning experiences! It is an adventure she is ready to continue.