Our science table exhibited things from under the sea- shells, coral, a seahorse, sea stars, beach sand and more. It was fun to explore by touching and looking closer through a microscope.
We explored in a tide pool filled with creatures like crabs, sea stars, seahorses and shells galore.
Crabs became a favorite after reading A House for Hermit Crab.
As you can see, we ended up giggling more than actually moving so we didn't get very far!
Then we used pincers
just like crabs
to eat some hard and soft treats. A crab's agility with its claws is simply amazing.
Star of the Sea
took us through the very challenging day in the life of a sea star. Wow! It's a lot of work to be a sea star.
We used diluted glue to brush on star shapes and then we sprinkled (great for fine motor control and also working the pincer grasp used for holding a pencil) colored sand over the glue to create some beautiful sea stars. The sand gave them the texture of a real sea star- a little rough on the top.
We played a game called "Guard the Eggs" after reading Coral Reef Hideaway.
We read about a little clown fish named Percula and how she is protected by the tentacles of the sea anemone where she makes her home and eventually lays eggs. She and her mate are safe from the poisonous tips of the tentacles, but other creatures are not.
In our game, the clown fish eggs were being guarded in the sea anemone. We were wrasses and tried to sneak up on the clown fish and steal the eggs.
Using pipe cleaners and Styrofoam balls, we made sea anemones to protect our own little clown fish.
Toothpicks and smaller Styrofoam balls made for some great sea urchins- the little creatures that helped hermit crab protect his home.
These were both great fine motor/eye-hand coordination activity.
After much introspection and a visit with the wise octopus, Rainbow Fish decided to share his sparkly scales with the other fish in the sea.
We made some paper plate fish and added tissue paper scales of all colors including a shiny, sparkly scale from Rainbow Fish.
Our art gallery is now a "sea" filled with beautiful fish...
We met all of Nipper the crab's friends in Clumsy Crab- octopus, jellyfish and turtle.
Octopus Den took us through the day in the life of an octopus who was forced to look for a new den when a larger octopus took residence while it was away.
We learned how octopus use their suction cup feet to move along the ocean floor and to catch their prey. To illustrate this, we used suction cups to paint as if we were octopus using our arms.
Nipper's friend Turtle used his fins to swim through the water and dig Nipper out of the sand when he got stuck. Turtle has a beautiful shell in shades of green polka dots. We decorated some turtle shells for our turtles. We named them and some of us even told stories about them.
Her name is "Dee".
She lives at the sea.
That is her work.She swims in the sea.
She plays basketball at the sea.
Shaving cream marbling is a process that created some seahorses worthy of Mister Seahorse in a book by the same name by Eric Carle who is known for his amazing illustrations.
The process involves and few steps, some more enjoyable than others depending on whether or not we minded getting a bit messy! We squirted shaving cream, swirled it around, dribbled water colors onto the shaving cream, swirled the colors around and then pressed our seahorse shape into the shaving cream. It was a great sensory experience and the marbled results were stunning to say the least!
We have so many great shark books to read- fiction and nonfiction. We enjoyed them all, but Don't Eat the Teacher is going to be put on our list of favorites!
A take on "The Three Little Pigs", The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark got votes for second favorite...
Know It All Sharks introduced us to different kinds of sharks and taught us some basic things about sharks.
Shark in the Sea got us up close and personal into the life of a shark, as we imagined jumping into the ocean and becoming a great white shark...
Having learned sharks are hunters, or predators, we turned the tunnel into a great white shark and sang to the tune of "Boa Constrictor" as we moved through the belly of the shark...
I'm being swallowed by a great white shark,
a great white shark, a great white shark,
I'm being swallowed by a great white shark,
And I don't like it very much!
We also played a card game like "Old Maid" but instead of an old maid card, we had a shark, along with other creatures of the sea. We matched the cards with pictures of a shark's prey. Whoever ended up with the shark at the end, was, well... a shark!
Our last day of under the sea exploration took us on a whale watch. We read Know It All Whales
to learn some basics about whales and then
Humphrey the Lost Whale
where we met a Humpback Whale who wandered into the San Francisco Bay and spent days trying to get back to the ocean. With binoculars in hand, we headed out on our whale watch...
We sang one of our favorite songs and added our favorite verse-
Have you ever seen a whale with a polka dot tail, down by the bay?
Having learned that humpback whales have tails or flukes that are like fingerprints- no two are alike,
we used paint markers to design our own polka dot whale tails.
We had a great time on our undersea adventure!