This past month of June, the NC Mountain Homeschool Coop has officially launched our Science Club. We are meeting for two hours, twice a month, to give homeschool children a hands on opportunity to study science.
The first subject we are studying is Oceans. This club will go year around, but each subject series or theme, will last about 6 to 8 weeks. We are really excited about this hands on science club, and all the learning opportunities it will bring for local homeschool children.
Our First Meeting
We used the first meeting as a meet and great meeting, and a planning meeting. We had fourteen kids at this meeting.
While the adults were making future plans, the children worked on some ocean crafts. One of the first arts and crafts the children did with the club was to make water color fish.
This activity really sparked a lot of imagination and excitement about the science club.
The children first colored coffee filters with markers. Then they sprinkled water on the filters and hung them up to dry. The water caused the colors to spread across the filters.
After they were dry, the children cut out fish shapes from the filters and added eyes and some drew on mouths, scales, or fins.
Each fish was unique and special and colorful too.
We briefly talked about the fact that there are billions of fish in the oceans, and they too are so colorful and unique.
Some of the children in the club have been to visit the ocean and ocean aquariums. Some children have not had this opportunity yet. It was good to talk about what the children know and what they don’t know yet in gaging the direction of this learning adventure.
Our Second Meeting
At our second meeting, we had fifteen kids, plus a baby (not all are pictured here). This group is off to a great start!
We are a co-op, so each family takes turns with different parts ( teaching, experiments, crafts, snacks, clean-up). Today I tackled crafts. Yikes!!!
Today we discussed the geographic location of the 5 oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Artic, and Southern.
First, the kids filled in a geography page with the names of the oceans and their locations. This worksheet was from Enchanted Learning. One of the parents was teaching and talked about the locations of the oceans.
Next, we learned from some science experiments about salt water using water, salt, and food coloring…..
and about ocean currents using hot and cold water and food coloring……
Next we made a craft. For our craft today, we made oceanography notebooks. The kids could decorate them however they wished. These notebooks have 3 punch holders with two pockets. I inserted a plastic sleeve into each one. Inside the folders, I placed four learning worksheets and a coloring page to take home in the pockets, plus various stickers, foam sea creatures, and sand paper placed in the plastic sleeve.
After the children finish the worksheets and coloring pages, they can insert them into the three punch holders to keep them neat and organized. There is plenty of extra room to store future worksheets and activities, as we learn more about oceans during the upcoming meetings. We also passed around blue construction paper for a making an ocean scene with the stickers and sand paper.
After decorating our notebook folders, we made ocean pictures and collages with sandpaper, blue construction paper, stickers (fish, sharks, seals, whales, various sea shells, and a beach scene), foam fish and sea creatures, markers, and glue.
I found all of these craft items at a dollar store called the Mighty Dollar. I bought enough for 18 kids. I cut apart the stickers, and divided up the foam creatures, and cut the sand paper sheets in half, so there was enough for everyone. The cost came out to about $2 per child to make both the folders and the ocean scene. This was great to create these wonderful and personal oceanography notebooks that will last as keepsakes of their learning adventure for a long time.
Some kids chose to glue their ocean pictures onto the outside of their notebooks, but others chose to keep them separate and make two different ocean scenes or collages, one on the notebook and one on the blue paper.
The additional printables being sent home in their folders today included:
Geography Map with oceans and continents to mark.
Geography/ Science page about how much of the earth is covered by water and show / color a pie graph.
Coloring /Art page of an underwater ocean scene.
Song about the five oceans, sang to the tune of the 10 little Indians. (from Spell Outloud)
After the crafts, the kids learned to sing a song about the five oceans. They pointed to each ocean as they sang t
hrough the song. I found this world geography and ocean placemat at the same dollar store.
We finished up the day with a fun and delicious ocean themed snack. Another family made cupcakes spread with ocean blue frosting, and gummy fish.
The cupcakes looked like fish swimming in water. The kids really enjoyed this.
Maybe enjoyed it a little too much……
After our fun time in Science Club today, the kids went outside to burn off some energy in the park.
They were bouncing with energy, playing tag, racing down the slides, ….where do they get it all from?
But the science learning continued. My oldest son found a locust shell and showed it to everyone.
I love to see their investigative skills at work, even when they are at play.
Later that night, the kids wanted to work some more on their oceanography notebooks and ocean art scenes.
These guys seemed to never get tired of creating ocean pictures.
They found my construction paper stash, and were ready to make more pictures. “Guys, it is almost bedtime.”
My oldest son, age 11, is free hand drawing the continents and cutting them out of green construction paper and gluing them onto blue construction paper. He is re-creating a world map as he is learning about where the oceans and continents are positioned. I was very surprised at how skilled and patient he was as he created his project.
Our next topic is sharks and whales. Sounds like its going to be lots more fun.
Be sure to check out the free OCEAN UNIT STUDY I wrote about with free printables (including the ones we used today), crafts, and lots of resources.
How do you teach about oceans and marine science to your kids? Leave us a comment, thanks.
This post will be linked with:
Kids Get Crafty
ABC and 123
No Time For Flash Cards
June 8th is National Ocean Exploration Day.
I thought it would be fun to pull together some resources about oceans for you to do a fun Ocean Unit Study adventure and explore the oceans with your kids.
My family loves to visit the Ocean and Ocean Aquariums and Marine Museums. There is something so fascinating about the wide range of life that lives below the water’s surface. And there is something incredibly soothing about the sound and the visual picture of waves rolling into the beach in a constant rhythm.
I was so blessed to have the opportunity as a child to spend two weeks in Hawaii. That was my first introduction to the ocean and sea creatures. What a fascinating and inspiring experience it was. As a pre-teen I went on a three week trip across the USA and seen the ocean from New York and Conneticut, and then all the way across the USA to Los Angeles. We traveled along the ocean front roads for many miles in Los Angeles. That summer I don’t think I had ever been any place hotter in my life. Then as a teenager I visited San Francisco several times, and so enjoyed eating fresh caught seafood on Fishermans Wharf. I also traveled again to New York and New Jersey and seen the ocean and took a ferry ride. In college I took a one week trip to Washington and Vancouver Island by ferry, and was again amazed at the vast beauty of the ocean and the beaches and rocky cliffs all around.
When we lived in Indiana, we lived just a little over an hour away from the Newport Aquarium in Newport KY. That was my children’s first experience with seeing ocean sea life. We were mesmerized by the amount of see life there was in these vast aquariums holding millions of gallons of ocean water in the middle of the United States.
Now we live in North Carolina and we are close to many ocean learning opportunities. We live just 2 hours from the Ripleys Ocean Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN. It has become a favorite place to visit for us.
We have been there four times in three years. It is a great place to study ocean animals. Some of our favorite ocean animals to learn about are sharks, octopus, jelly fish, sea turtles, sting rays, and one of our favorite sea birds, penguins. They have an awesome live penguin habitat and also a baby penguin rearing area that is so much fun for the children to participate in.
And there are several hands on opportunities for children to learn through using all their senses.
And my children love to watch the huge sharks and sting rays as the swim over our heads in the walk through aquarium.
We have also been to the ECCO Marine Museum in Hendersonville, NC. Last summer, we had friends, with 6 kids, visiting from Indiana. We took our 5 kids and their 6 kids and we went to the ECCO museum and had a great time learning about ocean life.
It only costs $1 per person, and we spent two hours learning from this fascinating marine scientist. In addition to running this museum, she also teaches classes, speaks at schools, does educational parties and birthday parties, and takes teens to the ocean for scuba diving and marine scientist excursions. Her son has gone on to be a marine scientist and he specializes in the study of sharks.
She is fabulous with children. Everything she does with kids is hands on.
Another favorite excursion for our family is visiting the ocean at South Carolina.
We live just 3 1/2 hours from Charleston, South Carolina. This is a world away from living in the midwest. Visiting here is almost unexplainable and you just have to experience it yourself.
The ocean views from Charleston and the surrounding areas are amazing. We especially enjoy staying at the Isle Of Palms and spending a few days enjoying the beach and traveling to surrounding areas to see plantations, museums, alligators, and taking in the amazing culture and history of the area. We went for a very special trip last October for our son’s 8th birthday, and we had the best time ever.
Another fun hands on learning activity we did learning about oceans was to create our own mini ocean.
We made an Ocean Discovery Bin for the kids to explore. I will write a story about it soon.
The kids enjoyed this bin so much. We made it in December, and we still pull it out frequently to play and explore in.
In addition to doing our own Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook, another really fun opportunity we are looking forward to this summer is a local homeschool Science Club. It is just starting up and the first topic they will be studying is “Oceans”. Our first Science Club meeting is tomorrow. So we are looking forward to lots more fun learning about the amazing oceans and the sea life that lives in them.
FREE Resources for an Ocean Unit Study:< BR>
Unit Studies (Science, Geography, History, Language Arts, Literature Book Lists, Reading, Vocabulary, Arts & Crafts, Math, Coloring Pages, and more), Lesson Plans, and Lapbooks (scrapbook with mini versions of the learning done in the unit study).
Christian Cottage Unit Studies: Oceanography: The Waters He Called Seas
Discovery Education: Ocean Exploration Lesson plans
Ocean Animal Lesson Plans
Homeschool Helper Online: Ocean Unit Study
Oklahoma Homeschool Cindy Downes: Ocean Unit Study
Eclectic Homeschool: Ocean Unit Study
Teaching Heart: Ocean Unit Study
Homeschool On A Shoestring: Ocean Unit Study
Homeschool Share: Hello Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Fish and Fishing Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Sea Turtles Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Octopus Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Atlantic Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Time Of Wonder Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Hermit Crab Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Nim (life on an island in the middle of the ocean) Unit Study and Lapbook
1+1+1=1 : Whale and Dolphin Lapbook
1+1+1=1 : Ocean Animals Tot Lapbook
1+1+1=1 : Nemo Tot Lapbook
1+1+1=1 : More printables & activities about the Ocean
Homeschool Activities: Ocean Unit Study
All Kids Network: Ocean Animal Worksheets
Kidzone: Ocean Counting Backwards Page
Kidzone: Ocean Counting Forwards Page
Kidzone: Sand Castle Connect the Dots
Kidzone: Odd or Even
Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Printables
Confessions Of A Homeschooler: Letter O is for Octopus
Crafts and Activities
Egg Carton Sea Creatures (crab, jelly fish, oyster, octopus, fish, etc.)
Paper mache Star Fish
Sand Casting Craft
Sea Shell Memory Game
Jelly Fish Craft
Under The Sea Pencil Holder
Artists Helping Children: Ocean Animal Crafts (lots and lots)
All Kids Network: Ocean Animal Crafts
Free Kid Crafts
Busy Bee: Ocean Crafts
First School: Ocean Creatures template for use in diaroma or collage crafts
First School: Ocean Theme Coloring Pages
Crafty Classroom: Coral Reef Collage
Crafty Classroom: Star Fish
Pink and Green Momma: Ocean In A Box
Pink and Green Momma: Ocean in a Bag
Pink and Green Momma: Ocean Bubble Wrap Scene
Spell Outloud: Ocean Song
Spell Outloud: Seahorse Craft and Game
1+1+1=1 : Ocean Activities
Counting Coconuts: Frozen Ocean Sensory Discovery Tub
Counting Coconuts: Beach Sensory Tub
Counting Coconuts: Nature Table
Homeschool Creations: Ocean Biome Diorama
Homeschool Creations: Animal Sorting File Folder Game
Sort Land and Ocean Animals
Homeschool Creations: Preschool Activities for letter U including underwater theme
Homeschool Creations: Letter O activities including an Ocean In A Bottle
DLTK : Ocean Animal Crafts
DLTK : Ocean Animal Coloring Pages
DLTK : Ocean Mobile
DLTK : Ocean Habitat Craft
DLTK : Ocean Mini Book
ABC and 123: O is for Ocean and Octopus Activities
Field Trip Ideas
Visit an ocean aquarium.
Visit the ocean.
Visit a marine science museum.
Do a virtual ocean field trip. (photo bucket has over 2,000 ocean videos, please screen your choices to make sure they are safe for kids to see)
You Tube (Has over 500,000 videos. Again, pick a few and screen them ahead of time to make sure they are appropriate for your kids to view.)
Here are a couple of You Tube ocean videos we enjoyed
Under the frozen ocean
Views Of The Pacific Ocean from Land
Do a virtual field trip to an ocean aquarium.
Online Interactive Games
Monterey Bay Aquarium (lots of different Ocean games here)
Ocean Games on Primary Games (lots of different Ocean games here)
Sea and Sky
Under the Sea
Happy Ocean Exploration Day!
Hope you enjoy your Ocean Exploration Adventure!!!