The teaching ideas were composed by
This curriculum guide is designed primarily for grades
K - 3. There are also specifically identified teaching ideas for grades
4 & 5.
Star from Sea Shapes
Activity Title: Sea Life
Objective: The students are introduced to and become familiar with sea life and sea related activities. Around this theme students build vocabulary, expand reading and writing skills, and participate in art and music related activities.
Materials: 12 x 18 colored paper of assorted blue colors (for word wall), a blank big book with the alphabet (ABC's) on each page (blue), which is to become a sea related big book dictionary, colored markers, tubs of sea life books and a timer.
Make a blank ABC book and word wall ready in the classroom. The teacher plays ocean sounds, Handel's water music or other water-related music as the children arrive. They join the teacher on the "meeting mat" to share their morning.
The teacher reads a poem or sings a song appropriate to the sea life theme, or asks students for songs or poems which they already know (or have learned through homework assignments).
The students break into "water" groups. Each group has paper and one of the above books, and explores the book and other classroom materials. Each group makes posters about their subject. Note that this is an opportunity for the teacher to observe learning styles and skills for working cooperatively.
Students put sea related words in the blank ABC book. This develops vocabulary, knowledge and understanding about the theme.
The children then make and label sea life posters and share their understanding and comprehension of the book they used.
Start a collection of sea shells in the classroom. Divide bulletin board paper into a grid so the children can begin the classification process. Direct your students attention to the sea shell collection to see which of the shell fish under discussion are represented.
Variation: Take the book Sea Shapes by Suse MacDonald and explore the ABC possibilities that may come from the book to build vocabulary. Note: Some of this vocabulary may be beyond some K-2 students.
The first time through the students should list the words they feel are relevant to the story as well as any from their own experiences. Talk to them about what it feels like in the ocean and about the plants and animals that live there.
Movement in the water and action words can be added to the ABC list with the teacher's help (action words outlined in the above example).
Activity Title: Getting To Know the Sea Creatures
Objective: The students identify and web the sea creature of their choice from a list provided by the word wall or they may draw a creature from the fish bowl*.
* The fish bowl is a glass or plastic fish bowl containing the names of the sea creatures to be researched.
As an example, the teacher uses the Hermit Crab as a demonstration sea creature and bases the presentation on the big book The Hermit Crab by Brian and Jill Cutting.
A dialog between the teacher and students should cover all the concepts that the teacher has identified as significant and might go as follows:
Ask children what they know and write ideas down on chart paper, then
read the book and list facts about the hermit crab. Are the thoughts we
first wrote down about the hermit crab true?
List the student responses on the chart paper.
Remind the students that there are fresh water habitats and salt water
Get the dictionary and have the word "hermit" tagged (or have a student find the word before the lesson).
hermit: someone who lives alone or away from others
The children probably figure out that the shell is his home and he must carry it with him so he can be alone when he chooses.
On. pp. 4 and 5 of the book:
The teacher may discuss items on the pages.
The teacher may want to have a person from a seafood store come in and bring samples of the various shellfish people buy to eat. A visit to a seafood store or a dock where fishermen come in with their catch is also a good idea.
The teacher will spend some time on these concepts and discuss the food chain cycle.
The teacher may also want to spend time on camouflage with this story.
This term can be explained fully using the pictures.
Do you think the hermit crab will find a new shell that is the right size?
Let's turn to pp. 14 and 15 of the book and find out. Examine the hermit crab closely for its own characteristics. What do you see?
INDIVIDUAL OR PAIRED LEARNING:
The teacher will have many names of sea creatures in the fish bowl and the students will now select one, alone or in pairs.
Grades K - 3: Have the children find a picture of the sea creature they have selected:
Draw the sea creature
Draw the place it lives, it's habitat.
Draw a picture of the creature with its babies.
Grades 4 & 5: Give the students unlined note cards ( 4 x 6 or 5 x 7) to document the information they find about their sea animal. You may have the books checked out or you may want to arrange time in the library for the children to go and use the media center.
Picture books are important as reference materials. The children need to see the animal they are researching.
The teacher should have a model or other representation of the hermit crab on display for this exercise.
Ideas for the fish bowl:
Provide each student with a big piece of paper for the following assignment:
Exercise: Have small groups make sea habitat scenes in boxes. This exercise should be simplified for grades K - 2 by having the whole class make one big habitat box together. Shirt boxes work well because they are not too deep. The habitat scenes should include the sea creature, sandpaper (to represent sand), tiny pebbles, small shells, and animals that represent stages in the food chain. As an example, the teacher can create a sample habitat box for the hermit crab and mount a seagull on top to show one of the crab's predators. Ask the children to label the things in their box so that the rest of the class can identify them. When the children finish cover the front of the box with blue saran wrap and tape the edges. Display them in the hall, the media center, or the classroom.
Allow children time to look through Sea Shapes and The Hermit Crab and any other books you have shared with your class for ideas.
Materials: (habitat boxes)
Objective: Have the students transform a common shape into a sea creature.
The teacher provides colored markers and templates of all the shapes from the book, Sea Shapes.
Select a page from Sea Shapes to use as an example. Use an overhead projector and trace the shape from the page. Show how by turning and manipulating the shape, it can be transformed into a sea creature.
Now, ask the children to find other aspects of sea life where they see these shapes.
Have each child select a template of the shape they want to work with to create their own sea picture.
The children may decide they want to work with a combination of shapes.
Math extension: problem solving
This section will explore mathematical concepts by noting patterns and shapes. Using the sea facts pages at the back of the book, Sea Shapes, ask the following questions:
Make a simple graph to chart what shapes are most prevalent in the book: Due to size constraints, the graph below is incomplete. It can be expanded to include all the shapes and sea creatures shown in the book.
Objective: To develop a facility for writing. Grades 4 & 5
The students should first read Sea Shapes and then select a creature from the book to use for the following activities:
Research Module: "Sea Watch Reporting"
Objective: To create a TV or radio report. The students' role is that of a reporter. Each student should select several news casts or informational shows and listen to how a professional broadcaster would make such a report. Each student should then select a sea creature on which to report for his or her radio or TV show. The teacher assembles books and magazines for the students to use in their research.
Activity: Write a news report on a specific environmental problem such as:
Extension in writing and reading: (Modeled thinking, writing, and reading).
Each student draws and/or finds photographs of the sea creature they have chosen and writes alliterative phrases about it.
Select a page from the book, Sea Shapes and write a story from a variety of points of view. Use the whale page as an example:
Grades 4 & 5
During the ABC Strategies and Vocabulary section each student is asked to write an story or design a poster or logo based on the activities of the classroom during the week. The following prompts offer some ideas for this project.
Your comments on the use of these materials will be welcome. Please contact Suse MacDonald with any thoughts, photographs or results.
This activity sheet is copyrighted by ladene conroy but may be photocopied for your colleagues.
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Suse MacDonald. All
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