The Bible – for verses about ocean-sea creatures
My Big Book of 5 minute Devotions-Celebrating God’s World, Pam and Douglas Kennedy
Sea Shapes, Suse MacDonald
Otter Play, Nancy Luenn
Sea Horse, Rebecca Stefoff
EyeWitness Books – FISH by DK Publishing
Splashy Fins, Flashy Fins- Deep Sea Rhymes to Make You Grin, Cynthia Copeland
A Shark Pup Grows Up, Pam Zollman
Sea Critters- National Geographic, Sylvia Earle
Crystal: The Story of a Real Baby Whale, Karen Smyth
Under the Sea sticker book
Really Wild Animals- Deep Sea Dive (National Geographic Video)
Sea Animals- Let’s See How They Grow Video
For my 2-year-old-
Curious George’s First Words at the Aquarium, H.A. and Margret Rey (Board Book)
On the Beach board book
I have a 2-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. Many of these activities work for both of my children- I just increased the expectations for my six-year-old.
Bible- Do a search for verses about God’s creation of the sea and sea creatures. You can look in a concordance of Bible or go to websites like Crosswalk.com. Once your child picks their favorites, you can have them copy the verses (one per day) for copywork/handwriting practice. We use the Handwriting Without Tears Paper.
Devotionals- Use My Big Book of 5 Minute Devotions each morning that you use this unit study. They have wonderful sea creatures such as dolphins, sea otters, fish, etc. with a brief devotional using characteristics of the animal. There is also a verse to memorize that applies to that characteristic/virtue (e.g. Sea Turtles- II Corinthians 4:8 perseverance).
Book1– Sea Shapes, Suse McDonald. Very clever book that uses shapes to create sea creatures
Activities for book 1:
a) Name shapes covered-star, circle, semi-circle, square, heart, triangle, spiral, fan, oval, diamond, crescent, hexagon- we went ahead and discussed octagon
b) Cut shapes and make sea creatures to match those in book
c) Nice descriptions of each sea creature in the book at the end. Could copy, cut, and staple into small sea creature book to read alone or put in a lapbook.
d) Define Mammal
e) List what sea creatures are mammals
f) List characteristics of mammals- air breathing, feed babies milk
Book2– Otter Play– Nancy Luenn
Activities book 2:
1) buddy reading- my son and I took turns reading opposite pages of this book. It is a delightful description of a little boy observing an otter. Even though these otters are in a river – not the ocean – it is worthy of inclusion.
2)vocabulary review- burrow, bank, chitter, loll, oars, frolic, eddy
3) make an eddy in water by swirling water in a bowl gently with a straw.
4)watch the Really Wild Animals video and see how otters get their food.
5) list the types of food otters like to eat
Book 3 –Splashy Fins, Flashy Fins- Deep Sea Rhymes to Make You Grin -Copeland and Lewis
Activities book 3:
a) Have the child read aloud
b)make vocabulary and/or spelling list of words they don’t know
c)read out loud to kids pausing at end of sentence to allow them to fill in the missing rhyming word. e.g. “…some have a lot of legs. Some swim around with their bellies full of lots of little _______ (child should say “eggs!”).
d) make a list of rhyming words. See if you can come up with a different rhyming word to make it funny (e.g. instead of eggs in the previous example they could say “full of lots of little legs”.
Book 4– Sea Horse, Rebecca Stefoff
Book 4 activities:
a) list all of the different defense mechanisms of sea horses/sea creatures.
b) define predator, prey
c) Pretend one child is a predator and another prey. Let the child who is prey try to figure our what way to avoid being caught (blend into environment (hide, wear same color clothes as wall)
d) compare and contrast how humans and sea horses carry and give birth to babies
Book 5–Sea Critters, Sylvia H. Earle
Book 5 activities:
This book is a nice simple breakdown of the classification of sea creatures. You can read a little about each class and then the back of the book has a great classification chart that is nice to include in a lapbook.
Book6– A Shark Pup Grows Up– Zollman
Book 6 activities:
a)Have the child read or buddy read
b)vocabulary list- gill slit, hatch, pouch, egg case, embryo, pup
c) create life cycle booklet. Copy pages 20-21. Nice description of each stage of shark life cycle.
d) Sequencing-it’s also fun to put each step of the life cycle on flash cards and let your child put them into the correct order as they tell you about each step.
Book 7–Crystal: The Story of a Real Baby Whale, Karen Smyth
Book 7 activities:
Read this book out loud to your children. BE AWARE- there is some mention of evolution and the idea of “Millions” of years- so you can handle this in a way that coincides with your family’s beliefs.
a) Have you child narrate back what they recall after you have finished reading a page (most pages are the right length for this age). For more info. on narration check out the Simplycharlottemason.com website.
b) some of the concepts covered in addition to a whale’s life cycle and habits- size, weight, seasons, mammals, maps, echolocation, other sea creature names, and much more.
1) Download diagrams of favorite sea creatures from Enchanted Learning. Allow your child to label body parts, etc.
2)Nature Notebook- We like to draw pictures of the sea creatures we study or see. We keep them along with our other nature drawings in a composition notebook or art notebook. Good chance to have your child practice writing the scientific name of the animal they found as copywork. To read more about Nature notebooks you can check out Simplycharlottemason.com
3)Field Trips- We live in Florida so we were able to go to “Gulf World” where they have sea animal shows and discuss the life cycle and habits of sea creatures. You could also visit an aquarium or go to the beach. If you live near the beach you may also be able to participate in a Sea Turtle Rescue. If you are landlocked- you could call to see if any banks or doctor’s offices have salt water tanks. A pet store would be sure to have a salt water tank to check out. Also, you could just do a virtual field trip by going to google and typing in “sea creatures” or the name of your child’s favorite sea creature.
4) Flipbook-Have your child cut several sheets of paper into squares (all the same size). Lay them out on the table left to right. In each square, your child will draw a small picture of a sea creature. The picture progresses. For instance, if they are drawing a dolphin, it will start in left-hand corner in the water and may start to leave the water in the second picture. By the time you move to the 5th drawing the dolphin may be pointing down again toward the water and by the last drawing end up back in the water. After drawings are done, have your child put the last picture on top of the stack and add them sequentially from there (backwards (drawing 10, 9, 8, etc). Staple together and then let them flip it. It will look like a slow motion movie of their dolphin jumping out of the water. Stiffer paper may work better. Any sea creature will do.
5) Google “word puzzle” to find resources for creating your own crosswords and word searches with sea creature names and vocabulary words.
6)Use the internet! check out Answers In Genesis website– there is a kid’s section with some sea creature information in it. This website has some very nice stories about God’s creation- I am not sure if the have any sea creatures, but I know they do have other animal stories so it’s a possibility. Wholesome Words Children’s Corner
7) Art- draw an underwater scene by pressing hard with crayons. After it is finished use watercolors to cover the whole page- paint over crayon and empty spaces. It will be a keeper!
8) We went to Red Lobster restaurant for my hubby’s birthday. A little sad- if they get it- but we did get to see live lobsters! We also took our Under the Sea Sticker book and let our son put the sea creature sticker into the correct place in the book after he read us the caption about each sea creature.
9) For preschoolers- Go Fish game and goldfish snacks are fun. You can also make blue jello for the ocean and put PRE-WASHED plastic seas creatures inside for discovery! I would wait until the jello has cooled a little before adding them.