Kids love going on an ocean adventure in our classroom and it’s always a blast! We research, write, and label different ocean animals. This research project is aligned with the science of reading and includes necessary vocabulary lessons, knowledge building, and writing! The engagement and excitement about each animal are amazing. I am very impressed with our writing about ocean animals and how much the kids learn about each animal! We use our Ocean Animals Research Project for our ocean adventure while keeping with our district’s scope and sequence!
We kick off our research units with a schema map.
We start with our schema or prior knowledge and record the information on Post-It Notes. I use Post-Its because they’re amazing and colorful…but more importantly, they can be moved around as we learn more and adjust our learning!
As we progress through our learning we add new learning and address misconceptions!
As with all of our research projects, students create a research journal filled with their learning!
For each animal, we use a read-aloud and video for our research. Then we create a graphic organizer which the students use to write about the animal. The students label the parts of each animal and create a fun art project for each animal! The labeling allows for the learning of vocabulary but also allows us to talk about animal adaptations and how those adaptations allow the animals to survive in their habitat.
Ocean Animals Culminating Task
In keeping with our district scope and sequence, at the end of our Ocean Animals Research Project, students must complete a culminating task. For this unit, the task is to write a friendly letter to our principal. Students choose the animal they wish to write about. They must include the name of the animal, the habitat, how the habitat helps the animal, and parts of a friendly letter. However, we felt it was more appropriate if we wrote an email instead. So the students “wrote” an email to the principal! We use the included rubrics to score their writing.
Below you can see additional examples of our graphic organizers, labeling, and writing.
Ocean Animals Compare And Contrast
We also did an interactive Venn diagram to compare and contrast sharks and dolphins! Ya’ll just need hula hoops from Dollar Tree!
Ocean Animals Measurement And Ten Frame Cards
We also did oceans measurement using our Measuring The Ocean creation!
Ocean Art Projects
The jellyfish was made by painting a paper bowl and adding streamers for the tentacles!
The whale was made with bubbles! Put some liquid soap and liquid watercolor in a cup. Students blow in the mixture with a straw. The bubbles come up out of the cup and onto the paper! Then have students cut out a whale!
Sharks (blue jello and whipped cream!)!
Ocean Water! (Sprite, sugar, coconut extract, and blue food coloring!)
Submarine Snack! Twinkies and fruit loops!
We also made a version of ocean slime and added some fun ocean animals to the slime!
And for fun while we worked on our ocean research, we went to the ocean! I just searched ocean video on YouTube and found this awesome video! Click the picture to go to the video on YouTube!
Ocean Animals Read Alouds
Click the image to see all of our books on Amazon!
Below are the links to the videos we watched:
Ocean Room Transformation
Each year we do ONE big room flip or room transformation. This year we did an ocean transformation.
For more details on our ocean transformation, check out this post!
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COSTUME ON AMAZON!
Shell Counting Puzzles
For more information, check out these blog posts:
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I do an ocean unit every year around this time and I love the activities you have shown. I will definitely be making ocean slime with my kids and I know they will love it! Thanks!
do you fill out the tree map and labeling all during readers workshop? Or at other times? I've always been curious how you fit it all in!
We do the tree map during our reading block. The writing during writer's workshop and the labeling in the afternoon during science!
Thank you! Tried to look at your plans to see for myself before asking, but wasn't sure! That makes sense!
Do you make separate journals for each animal or do you bind one notebook for your 2-week long project?
Combine for 1 notebook for the entire project