Ocean is a fascinating place, we try to return to this topic often, as kiddos have new questions all the time.
This year a trip to Denver Aquarium prompted us to look at the Great Blue once again. Now, Denver Aquarium is a very nice, yet very pricey place, so I recommend getting a membership, if you plan to return the same year, this way it pays for itself in about two visits (especially if one uses guest tickets that come with membership). The exhibits are very nice and there is a Mermaid show that little ones especially enjoy!
Here is our reading list:
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DK Eyewitness Oceans DK encyclopedias are our favorite forever, tons of info, attractive pictures.
I Wonder Why the Sea Is Salty: And Other Questions about the Oceans. We love this series!
National Geographic Readers Dolphins (National Geographic Readers: Level 2) my little C, who’s just starting to read on her own, loves NG ones
Jacques Cousteau was a huge influence on my childhood as I watched his program every Sunday, so I couldn’t wait to get kids acquainted with his work as well
Manfish: The Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne and Eric Puybaret
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
did a great job teaching us about life of this amazing person.
On his own D. is reading Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George (illustrated by John Hendrix) and can’t put it down at all.
Kids also watched an episode of Cousteau’s program about Antarctica.
Disneynature Oceans film is also great and teaches kids a lot about underwater habitats (and they have a great .pdf companion that one can download and use)
With D. (4th grade) we talked a lot about ocean floor and ocean habitats.
We watched a number of videos on whales on National Geographic site
Google Street View Underwater is a great feature we had so much fun exploring!
Kids did some projects:
first is Turtle in Shallow Water art project (originally found at Art Projects For Kids), kids chose lighter crayon for their turtles so the turtles are rather transparent, it was a fun project and very pretty.
D. made a starfish all on his own, zero help from me. He folded a bunch of paper planes, stapled them together to a “center” sheet of paper and added tin foil for decoration. Later he painted starfish legs with watercolors. In process he looked up starfish in the book and learned what they eat, where they live and other most curious tidbits! C. of course had to follow with a paper plate collage creation
another fun art project we did is Paper Plate Whales (idea found here via pinterest) cut out of paper plates and covered with acrylic paint
C. did a jellyfish and a dolphin with watercolors
D. utilizes his Lego in his studies 100% , so naturally another creation is born- Ocean Floor adventure
We sure had great fun learning about Oceans, it also our first point of interest this school year ! Considering kids’ interest in the subject I’m sure we will return to it over and over again.