Scrambled States: Virginia and Washington – 5/28


These two states are at the bottom of the alphabet, but are just as important as the rest!  Today, learn about the aquaculture and shellfish of Washington and George Washington’s agricultural footprint in Virginia!


The state of Washington is in the Pacific Northwest and has perfect environments for aquaculture.  Aquaculture refers to “growing” aquatic plants and animals in water environments like ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans.  Today we are going to focus on Washington’s shellfish!  Shellfish include clams, mussels, oysters, and geoducks that live in the ground under water! The Western Washington Indian Tribes have been harvesting shellfish for thousands of years.  It wasn’t until the mid-1800’s that shellfish farming started as an industry.  There are more than 300 farms for commercial growing and roughly 347,000 recreational fishing/shellfishing licenses throughout the state!

Follow along with Clarence the Clam’s adventure in today’s read along, “Clarence the Clam” by Janet Barr.

So, how do you shellfish?  Watch this video of recreational geoduck (pronounced “gooey duck”) fishing!

Your activity today is to make your own model of a clam or geoduck using recycled materials!

Learn more about Washington here!


Virginia is the home to one of the founding fathers and our first president of the United States, George Washington.  Although he played a huge role in adopting and ratifying the U.S. Constitution and establishing a federal government, he first was responsible for managing his plantation and crop!

First, read about George Washington and his role in agriculture! While you’re reading, think about accomplishments that made him successful, and how being a farmer contributed to his leadership ability. 

Now, let’s take a virtual tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon!

Now that you have some background information about George Washington, your activity today is a two-step activity!

  1. Write a paragraph answering the following question:  What does it mean to be a leader?  Use examples from your reading on George Washington to help support your ideas.
  2. The Washington Monument has been destroyed in an earthquake!  Your task is to design (Draw and/or create a model) a new monument that represents George Washington!  Make sure to include specific accomplishments, reflect his values and characteristics that made him a successful leader, any of his interests, and a connection to his background in agriculture!

Have some fun learning more about George Washington by playing these online games!

Learn more about Virginia here!


Shellfish are filter feeders which means that they pull in water in, filter out and trap tiny food particles in the water, and then push out the rest of the water.  Remember that in an aquatic ecosystem, there are lots of different particles, organic material, and other waste within the water.  Can you make your own filter feeder model? Check out this activity and try it yourself! If you don’t have the right materials, get creative with what you have at home!

Something for Everyone

Now that you’ve learned about Washington’s (the state) geoducks, check out this catchy song!

Assessment and Extended Response


  1. What are some different types of shellfish? (Clams, geoducks, mussels, and oysters)
  2. Where did the practice of ‘shellfishing’ come from? (From the Western Washington Indian Tribes who have been shellfishing for thousands of years)

*If shellfish are filter feeders, they can clean the water.  How do you think this happens?  Why do you think it would be important for us humans to keep their habitats clean and free of pollution?


  1. What is George Washington most known for? (Being the first president of the United States and for being a founding father)
  2. What was George Washington’s plantation called? (Mount Vernon)

*Explain why George Washington’s background in agriculture helped contribute to his leadership ability.

*What other presidents have backgrounds in farming and agriculture?

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