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How does MARE fit with the NJCCC STANDARDS?

The honest answer is easily and everywhere!  The MARE activities span multiple disciplines including components of writing, reading, art, cooperative learning, math, history, physical education and of course Science!  These same activities often spark extension lessons in music, interpersonal skills, vocabulary and spelling, and theater.

For example, our second grade classes study The Sandy Beach in the MARE curriculum.  Since we have a bird’s eye view of Old Barney from our shores, the students were very interested in the lighthouse.  We often visit the sandy beach at Island Beach State Park or Long Beach Island, NJ as part of our unit.  We also contacted the wonderful people at the NJ Lighthouse Society for a school visitation.  Now, how did we meet our CCCStandards?

We started with the principles of Understanding By Design (UBD) and identified the “big ideas” that we wanted our students to understand from the lessons. For example, we wanted our students to understand that lighthouses serve a purpose and that purpose is navigation assistance for marine travel.  We also wanted the students to understand that lighthouse design follows a few common traits including shape, color and lense choice.  Lastly, we wanted the students to understand that lighthouses have both an impact and play an integral part in the sandy beach habitats where they are located.  Now, you may be thinking that we are straying very far from the content standards here….. but just wait…. it all comes together!  Keep an open mind and know that you can address your CCCStandards easily with this or ANY MARE activity.

Once our “big ideas” or key concepts were identified, we then chose our activities to accomplish these concepts.  We matched each activity with cross-curricular connections and with the Content Standards for our grade level. For this example, grades 1 to 2 are the target audiences, but it is adaptable for various grade levels.   Below are three of the eight activities we chose and how they fit into the Content Standards.

Activity MARE Activity NJCCCS Cross-Curricular Connection
Students will measure (ft.) and draw Barnegat Lighthouse on the playground using chalk.
  • 4.1 Number Sense
  • 4.2 Geometry/Measurement
  • 1.1 Creative Art
  • Math
  • Art
  • Sand sampling near lighthouse
  • Sand sample examination using microscopes.
  • Discussion
  • Record observations in journal
  • Navajo sand art
Sand on Stage
  • 5.8 Earth materials5.1 Science Practices(observe and record)
  • 5.6 Structure and Prop. Of Matter
  • 3.3 Questioning & Discussion
  • 3.2 Writing
  • 1.2 Art History
  • Language Arts
  • Art
  • Social Studies
  • Bio blitz, identification and counting of plant and animal life at Barn.
  • Lighthouse State Park habitat, record using flip video, journals,drawings, etc.
  • MARE Seashore Charades will be used to have the students kinesthetically act out the adaptations of various organisms in the habitat both at high and low tides.
Seashore Charades
  • 1.3 Performing Arts5.1 Science Practices(active investigation)
  • 5.3 Life Science
  • (various principles)
  • 3.2 Writing
  • 3.3 Speaking
  • 8.1 Technology
  • 4.4 Data analysis
  • Art
  • Technology
  • Language Arts
  • Interpersonal
  • Health
  • Phys. Ed.
  • Math

Many of the MARE lessons are correlated with the NJ Core Curricular Content Standards in the document “The Golden Lessons” available at this site:  https://marine.rutgers.edu/main/MARE/Getting-Started-with-MARE.html and also on the Cosee site at:  https://coseenow.net/mare/getting-started/

The MARE Master Trainers would also be happy to help you identify how your activity fits into the MARE program and the NJCCCS through the forum on this site.  Just send out a query and we will be glad to help you!

We realize that  justification is often requested or required by your supervisor.  When you bring a new idea to your school, such as the MARE club or MARE curriculum, it often falls upon you to be the “salesperson” for the product.  Please remember that your COSEE community is here to help you! I can promise you, it is definitely worth it!


2010 MARE Summer Institute: Getting Your Feet Wet, Day 1

When it comes to the MARE program, it is best to just jump right in with both feet!  Participants in the 2010 Summer Institute spent part of their first day seining in Barnegat Bay off of Seven Bridges Road in Tuckerton, with Dr. Motts Grothues.  After a wonderful group effort at pulling in the nets, a plethora of species appeared!  Needle fish, Puffer fish, Silversides, Pipe fish, Oyster Toadfish, sponges, crabs, oh my! The group collected a variety of species to bring back to the education center.

The participants examined the fish using the MARE activity “It Takes All Kinds”  This is a group discussion while observing and recording information about the species form and function. This lesson is part of the fourth grade, Kelp Forest MARE curriculum. Further explanation can be found in your Summer Institute Binder for review.

Jumping in with both feet is an excellent analogy for how to begin the MARE program in your school or club.  Don’t wait, don’t over analyze, just pick an activity that interests you or fits your materials on hand or current curriculum and learn as you try it!  When the children ask you a question that you can’t answer, just use that opportunity to investigate it together or assign students to research the answer and share it with the class. 

When bringing live species into your classroom, remember to check for allergies.  Minimize the negative comments (Ewwww, yucky) by prompting the students to say “Isn’t that interesting” instead.  Photographs could be used in place of real specimens.  Websites often have digital pictures or descriptions.  When shopping at a local bait store or fish market, red snapper, mackerel, bluefish are good choices. 

Anne Carla Rovetta entertained the attendees with two animated, interesting folktales infused with science facts during their visit to the Rutgers University Marine Field Station. The group could easily see how Anne’s wonderful voices and storytelling talents could mesmerize a group of students.  The participants even got involved with the jellyfish dance!  A wonderful reminder to remember to laugh a little in each day! One of the stories Anne referred to is available online.  “Raven Sets Things Right” is found at: https://www.ucan-online.org/legend.asp?legend=4693&category=6.   A second book she referred to can be found for purchase online: Skunny Wundy (The Iroquois and Their Neighbors) by Arthur C. Parker.  There is more to come from the talented Ms. Rovetta tomorrow!


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