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Why an ocean animals unit study? Here we sit in the Midwest. No ocean for hundreds of miles. Still, we are fascinated by the beach, the sand, the salt water, and the creatures that live in and around it all.
In a few weeks, our family will travel to the beach for a vacation in one of our favorite spots. The sugar white sand of the Gulf Shores, Alabama area is calling our name. While I love the sun and the sand, I also love the wildlife that we get to see.
We love to walk the beach looking for shells, fish, and other interesting things that wash up with the waves giving us clues to what is out there in the water. The kids like to put on their swim goggles and try to spot fish near the shore and dig up sand dollars. At the nearby fishing pier, we can watch fishermen pull in all kinds of fish large and small.
In the sand dunes, we search for sea turtle nests that have been marked by a local sea turtle conservation organization. Flying overhead we see birds like gulls and pelicans. At night, we take our flashlights on the beach to spot ghosts crabs.
Using vacations as an educational experience is easy when you have so much to see and experience in one place. We let the kids explore and observe by themselves and see what they are interested in. Sometimes, they will get curious while you are planning. If you are getting ready to hit the beach this summer, you can use the resources in this post to create a unit study of your own to get the kids excited about the ocean or capitalize on the interest they already have.
Creating An Ocean Animals Unit Study
When creating my own unit study, I like to have a backbone or spine to work from. I find that the more basic the better for us, since we like to follow rabbit trails of new interests – a lot. Often, I will choose a resource geared toward younger learners for my older children. I do this because resources for younger learners are usually more basic and don’t get too detailed. This way, we can add the details.
In our recent ocean animals unit study, we used the Ocean Animals lapbook with study guide from A Journey Through Learning. It was created for grades 1-4 and covered everything from ocean facts to habitats around and in the ocean to animal facts. My son is in 6th grade so we used this study as the spine.
Ocean Animal Links And Resources
While searching for information about ocean animals, we came across some great resources.
Ocean Animal Encyclopedia – Oceana.org
Marine Species Database – MarineBio.org
Ocean Portal – National Geographic Kids
The Ocean’s Weirdest Creatures – National Geographic Kids
Studying Sea Turtles – The Homeschool Scientist
Shark Unit Study Links – The Homeschool Scientist
Ocean Animals Lapbook and Study Guide – A Journey Through Learning
Ocean Animal Art And Crafts
Most of these crafts and activities are designed for young learners, but, seriously, my middle and high schooler still love a good craft!
Ocean Animal Crafts – DLTK-Kids.com
Sea Animal Crafts and Activities – BuggyAndBuddy.com
Sea Turtle Art – The Homeschool Scientist
Sea Shore Chalk Pastel Video Art Course – ChalkPastel.com
Ocean Animals Field Guides
I’ll admit. I have a serious field guide addiction, but what is a nature study without one?