Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let's Take a Dive! Ocean Unit in Review--Part One

Our kids have been studying the ocean habitat, ocean food chains, and animal adaptations.  The following are some activities and resources our students have enjoyed in this cross curricular unit.  This is Part One of our sharing...

Guided Reading 

There are numerous nonfiction text resources related to the ocean.  Here are some of the text I used in guided reading groups.  

Ocean Life by Brenda Z. Guiberson (Scholastic Storia eBook)
Ocean Giants by Kate Waters (Scholastic Storia eBook)
Weird Sea Creatures by Laura Marsh (National Geographic Kids Leveled Reader)
Great Migrations: Whales by Laura Marsh (National Geographic Series)
Splash! A Book About Whales and Dolphins by Melvin & Gilda Berger (Scholastic Storia eBook)

Each group focused on problem solving the meanings of unknown words.  This is a continued focus at all levels and all of the texts provided opportunities to problem solve and make predictions about new words.

Ocean Zones & Ocean Animal Profiles

Students learned about the oceans zones and the special adaptations that animals have to help them survive in each of the zones.  Students also researched an animal and created an ocean animal profile.  You will notice more animals in the sunlight zone, as 90% percent of ocean life is found in this zone.  Students also made ocean zone accordion books.

Scuba Kid Craftivity and Poems

The scuba kids turned out super cute!  Students chose to write a lantern or haiku poem, followed the rules of writing the type of poem chosen, and typed their poem for display on their scuba kids' bellies.

Tessellated School of Fish!

My kids have created tessellating fish in past years, but this year we used a new technique.  Students tore blue paint tape to create stripes on their fish.  These areas resisted watercolor and created white stripes on their tropical fish. The kids loved how they turned out, but the tape was not as easy to remove as I would have liked--had to lay them on the heater to get the tape to remove easily.  Will be trying a different tape next time... :0)

A giant googley eye was the icing on the cake!

Ocean Animal Food Chain Pyramids

Found this idea last year on First Grade Wow! What a great visual to help students understand the food chain concept as it relates to the ocean.  This can be used for any food chain, of course!

Sides--animal illustrations, names of animals, producer or consumer labels.

We have even more great ocean unit ideas and student work to share! Stop back to read more from Courtney!


  1. Everything turned out super cute. I absolutely love your scuba diving kids. What a fun unit! I am sure your students loved it! Thank you for sharing.

    Fit to be Fourth

  2. Sarah-I love this post, and I would love being a student in your class. This looks so fun! Thematic planning just makes things stick for kids.