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