Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ocean Week - Part 1

It's ocean week and here's a glimpse at what we've been up to.  On Monday, we started our unit by filling out a K-W-L chart.  Students helped me write about what they Know and what they Want to know.  After we watched a Brain Pop Video on Ocean life, we came back to the rug and discussed what we Learned. 
Heck...I'm not going to fib on my blog....I even learned a few things!  ;-)  Thanks Moby and Annie!  ha ha  This was a great way to kick off our unit and gave me a better insight as to what my students wanted to know more about.  After this, we discussed habitats and created our own fish aquariums. 
I also told the students I had them a little something special, but they had to guess what it was by using my descriptive clues.  Here is what I let them know...
It can be big, small, or flat.  It can have teeth and different colors.  And, it will sink and eat different things!  At first, when I said it can be big, small, or flat - students guessed seaweed, a picture, and a shark tooth.  Then, when I said it can have teeth and different colors - we brainstormed and added lizard and snake.  When I gave them the last clues and told them it will sink when it doesn't swim and it likes to eat - we added a seahorse and a shark.  Majority of my students thought it was a shark. 
Wonder what is in here?  Drum roll please....
A shark! ha ha But not just any shark...a growing one ;-)  Gotta love this guy who (when placed in water for up to 3 days) will grow up to 600% it's original size.  This was a great little garage sale find last wknd for .50 cents.  Proceeds went to help the Women's Junior League, I couldn't resist.  ha  And typically, the Dollar Tree has a plethora of them.  We're going to observe our shark this week and take measurements of him - great way to incorporate math!  We measured him today, prior to him taking a swim in water, and I'm sure my kiddos will be anxious to see how much he's grown tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Also, we read this non fiction book on Sea Horses.  If you refer to my K-W-L chart above, you'll notice that students said they were interested in knowing more about these little guys.  So...we charted our findings. 
Um...who knew that the male seahorse carries the eggs in his pouch similar to a kangaroo?  NOT ME!  Seahorses have many characteristics of other animals...they obviously have a head like a horse, eyes that move in various directions like lizards, tails that wrap like monkeys, and are covered in hard plates like beetles.  What?!  Where have I been.  You know the old saying..."If you don't use it, you'll lose it."  Guess I had forgotten this important info since teaching it last year.  Oops.  :)  We made a 4 part foldable and listed facts in the first column today.  At the top, we glued a Ellison sea horse di cut.  For the rest of the week, we'll continue adding to our foldable, filling out facts about sea creatures in each column.  Tomorrow, we'll learn about whales and add that to our 2nd column!  (I'll certainly add a pic towards the end of the week)  Surf's Up! ~Miss E


Denise Skelton said...

You didn't know that about seahorses? Read Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle :)