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Ocean activities for young learners
22 May, 2016. 2 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Language, Kindergarten Math, Kindergarten Science, Science. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Ocean activities for young learners

I can not get over how quickly this year flew by.  We are down to only 4 days left and I am so very sad to see this wonderful group of kids move on. However, we have been enjoying every last moment we have. This past week was jam-packed with ocean fun. My students are loving learning about ocean animals.

To begin our unit, my students took a class survey to determine what our favorite ocean animals were.

kindergarten students survey the class to find out their favorite ocean animals

This is a fun activity that we do often during our morning meeting. It not only allows students to get up and move but also integrates math in a fun and meaningful way!

kindergarten students survey the class to find out their favorite ocean animals

According to our class surveys, it became apparent that my students were really interested in learning about sharks! Therefore, I made a new three part card set to teach them the names of different sharks. I paired the cards with TOOBS shark kit and my students could not get enough of this “work” during literacy centers.

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You can grab this as a freebie, here!  If you would like to grab the sharks to go with it, you can get them here from Amazon.

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We completed a directed drawing of a shark.

Directed drawing of a shark Directed drawing of a shark

We also used our light table to talk about the coloration of a shark. My students enjoyed filling in the shark and water. Here is a work in progress.

engaging lessons on oceans for kindergarteners

While planning for my unit, I came across a great resource to bring the ocean into our classroom. If you go to Monterey Bay’s aquarium website, you will find a TON of resources that you can use. They have lesson plans, activities, (free) printables, and live camera feeds! My students LOVED watching the live feeds.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 12.27.56 PM

source: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals-and-experiences/daily-shows-and-feedings

The best part about the live feeds is you can look up the time that they have live feedings and catch the show for free. We learned so much watching the feeding in the Open Ocean.

After we watched the live feeds, we wrote about what we saw and learned!

kindergarten students reflect on what they learned about ocean animals

“A shark has no bones. A shark is big. A shark has a frown. A shark has a dorsal fin.”

As a hands-on science extension to our unit, we created “ocean slime.”

kids love making ocean slime! Here are the ingredients you need to make it!

(Before this activity took place, I boiled some water in the microwave to have it on hand to help dissolve the Borax needed for each group.)

To make ocean slime, first my students added an entire bottle of glue (we used both the white glue and the clear glue) into their bowl. Then they filled the glue bottle with water and added a few drops of blue food coloring.

creating ocean slime with kindergarten students creating ocean slime with kindergarten students

Once these ingredients were added to the bowl, we added glitter and stirred it up so it was well mixed.

creating ocean slime with kindergarten students

As my students were mixing, in a small cup, I added about a teaspoon of Borax to the hot water and stirred until it was dissolved completely. (If I measured I would say it was about 1/3 cup of water to the teaspoon of Borax.)

Once we added in the “magic (Borax) solution” the ocean slime became slime!

Kindergarten students still love sensory activities. Here they are playing with ocean slime! Kindergarten students still love sensory activities. Here they are playing with ocean slime!

My students LOVED playing with their slime!!!

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(Each bottle of glue made enough ocean slime for 3 friends to play with.)

During exploration centers, my students had a blast using modeling clay and resources to create different ocean animals. To draw animals, I have taught my students to look for shapes in them that they know how to draw. This makes it easy for them to draw animals. We used a book that showcased shapes in ocean animals! They really liked this!

engaging lessons on oceans for kindergarteners_-66 engaging lessons on oceans for kindergarteners_-65

They really loved making their creatures and were very proud when they could take them home!

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We had many sea stars and sunflower seastars.

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We also had a few sea turtles and crabs!

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We are having a blast while learning about the ocean! I hope that your last few days/weeks of school are going well!

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D: “Am I taller than the ocean puzzle?”

E: “Yes! You are!”

D: “Awesome!”

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.*

2 Comments
  1. Looks like your kiddos had a lot of fun with your ocean unit. Enjoy your last few days!!

    What is the name of the ocean shape book? I need that one! 😀

    Amanda

    • Amanda, It was called “Shapes.” You can get it here: http://amzn.to/1U6Pf7I It’s a great book for the beginning of the year K. I brought it out again because it had the ocean animals in it!

2 Comments

  • Looks like your kiddos had a lot of fun with your ocean unit. Enjoy your last few days!!

    What is the name of the ocean shape book? I need that one! 😀

    Amanda

    • Amanda, It was called “Shapes.” You can get it here: http://amzn.to/1U6Pf7I It’s a great book for the beginning of the year K. I brought it out again because it had the ocean animals in it!

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