We studied ocean and sea creatures for two weeks in May. Some of the activities included:
• Read several books about the ocean and studied dolphins, star fish, clown fish, etc.
• Read several Rainbow Fish books.
• We covered the classroom windows with blue plastic wrap to make our classroom feel like we were “under the sea.”
• The students traced sea creatures using templates or drew and cut-out sea life.
• Then the sea creatures were taped onto the windows.
• We made individual aquariums using blue painted paper plates, sea shells, Gold Fish, construction paper to make seaweed, and twist tops “that looked like lobsters” from children’s plastic juice bottles. Assorted items were glued to the plates. Then the plates were covered with the blue plastic wrap.
• The children brought sea shells to school. We placed them in our science center and identified them using an assortment of sea shell books from our school library.
This lesson is a joint lesson from Peggy Smith, Pre-K teacher and Carol Johnson, Physical Education teacher at All Saints Episcopal School and is a culmination of our studies.
Language Art and Art for Mrs. Smith’s portion of the lesson (Allow about 15-20 minutes to complete both objectives.)
1. Students will be able to successfully identify three types of sharks.
2. The students will draw pictures of ocean creatures, using sidewalk chalk, as they move around a table that has been covered with bulletin board paper. Soft ocean-like music will be played to help the children get the feel of ocean waves.
Physical Education for Mrs. Johnson’s portion of the lesson
3. Students will be able to develop gross motor skills, as they dodge and avoid being tagged during Sharks and Minnows.
4. Students will be able to manipulate a parachute containing fish and octopi and catch them in the air, as they are thrown through the “ocean waves” (a hula-hoop.)
1. Internet access, laptop for accessing the National Geographics site
2. CD player and soft classical or ocean-like music CD (example-The Mozart Effect)
3. Bucket of large colored sidewalk chalk
4. 2 small parachutes, 2 rubber fish, 2 octopi, and 2 hula hoops
The students ended this study by eating blue Jell-o aquariums. These were made in clear plastic cups by following the directions on the Jell-o package. Fruit-flavored gummy sharks or other sea creatures were added to the Jell-o when it was slightly set.
Anticipatory Set and step-by-step procedures that will be performed to reach the objectives:
For Objective 1 (Allow 5-10 minutes.)
1. Have children sit in a semi-circle and show them pictures of sharks from the website, discuss the names of the sharks, and give some facts about each shark. ( I used the National Geographic for kids website and my laptop.)
2. Talk about how it might feel to be a creature in the ocean.
3. Allow the children to share what they would like to be.
4. Tell them that they are going to pretend that they are creatures under the sea and are swimming around.
Objective 2 (Allow 5-10 minutes for this portion of the lesson.)
1. Line up the children and let them “swim” (using their arms as fins) outside to the tables. (I did this activity outside because I used two 8 foot folding tables and wanted the children to be able to stand as they drew.)
2. Lead the children around the tables and have each child stop in front of a piece of chalk.
3. Let the students draw until the music begins.
4. Have them place their chalk down.
5. When the music begins each child “swims” to the music and moves around the table until the music stops.
6. When it stops, each child picks up another piece of chalk and finishes the picture in front of him/her or draws another sea creature.
7. Continue this activity until the “ocean” is full of creatures.
8. Take a break and allow the children to get a drink of water before beginning the physical education activities.
For Objectives 3 & 4 (Allow 15-20 minutes to complete both activities.)
1. The students will form a line to play Sharks and Minnows.
2. The teacher will pick one student to be the shark.
3. The object of the game is for the minnows to get to the other side of the playground without being tagged.
4. The shark will yell, “Here comes the shark.” The shark will tag as many minnows as he or she can.
5. The tagged minnows will become sharks. The game continues until there are no more minnows.
6. Ocean waves is played with the parachutes, rubber fish, stuffed octopi, and hula hoops.
7. The object is to bounce the fish or octopi off the parachute and through the hula hoop into the hands of a student. The student is acting as a “fishing net.”
8. The game continues until everyone has been the “net.”
9. The children returned to the classroom and enjoyed eating the jell-o aquariums, while we reviewed the activities.