Week 5: The Ocean

After the world travels of the last two weeks, and the fun of learning of other cultures, it was nice to explore the magic of the ocean. Again, summer has been increasingly busy, so there were so many extension activities I didn’t get to do for this, but I guess I’ll just plan better next year. Lame, too, as we live in So Cal and the ocean itself if 20 minutes away.

The ocean is a really big thing to talk about, with a lot of facets for study. It lends itself well to any age group, as you can go small-themed and talk about fish or animals, to large-themed and talk about marine biology or ecosystems. It is easily adaptable, and (depending on where you live) there are a LOT of field trips to take for hands-on learning.

Like the other units, I like to have a book to increase the learning time, as pictures work wonders for little kids. I bought Eye Wonder: Ocean by Prentice Hall Publishing through Amazon.I like this book because it is a great mix of beautiful pictures and diagrams with (fairly) age-appropriate information. Plus, it was cheap.

I also found some great material from TeachersPayTeachers on Oceans that was completely FREE
and another really cool set from The Happy Housewife that were also FREE. I really loved these as they had a couple of higher-thinking activities that Kelan was able to do that focused on reading comprehension, and comparing/contrasting, as well as cut-and-paste skills, writing and sequences. Thumbs up on both of these, they were awesome.

I had planned on taking my kids to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, but ended up asking my husband to do it, as I went on a last-minute trip to Vegas. He agreed, and they had a fabulous time. Note: 2/3 of the pictures below were actually ones my son took. He really enjoyed being able to see the animals we spent time talking about.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t get to do a lot of really fun things that I would have liked to do, if I had a bit more time. Especially in California, we have access to so many beaches. A day at the beach collecting shells and playing in the sand would have been awesome. Some of the places that would fit nicely with this unit:

  • Aquariums
  • ocean
  • tide pools (Lots in the Laguna area)
  • SeaWorld
  • Museums (the California Science Center has a huge ocean exhibit)

This unit would also nicely segue into boats or sailing, if you’re into that, with (again) more ocean-themed activities like a marina visit, paddle boats, Duffy boats, or a harbor cruise. Or, if you have a boat/know someone that does, a trip on a real sailboat. In short, this is the *perfect* summer “school” lesson, as it is a great get-out-of-doors activity.

Happy Summer!





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