The Oceans learning center will be
used throughout the unit. It contains introductory subject matter
to get the students attention and activities they can do throughout the
unit as they learn about the oceans.
The focus of the unit is a tri-board. At the top of the tri-board are the words OCEAN LIFE. Below these words are five little world maps at different angles to show the five different oceans. What the students must do is find an article in a magazine, newspaper, or on the web that has to do with one of the oceans. The student has to summarize the article and bring it in to class. Using string they pin one end on the article and pin the other end to the ocean that the article is about.
On top of the tri-board we have a fishing net with little fish and starfish in the net, this is to attract the students to the learning center so that they will want to come and look at the learning center.
On the left side of the tri-board is a copy of a fish with many slips of paper in it. It reads DID YOU KNOW. On each piece a paper is a fun fact that students can learn about the ocean. This is an introductory technique to pique their interest about the ocean units. The slips are about different animals in the oceans, products we use that have ingredients that come from the ocean, and ecology facts.
On the right side of the board is the ecology part of the oceans unit. There is a picture of a seagull with a 6-pack plastic ring around its neck with a caption about how plastics can strangle, cut, or choke sea mammals, sea animals, sea birds, and turtles. There are also two journaling ideas that have to do with what the students will learn about ecology in the social studies part of the oceans unit. Thirdly there are two worksheets that the students can do about ecology and polluting the oceans. These worksheets can be found on The Ocean Book: Aquarium and Seaside Activities and Ideas (p100-102).
Sitting on the ground near the learning center is a tub full of dirt and sand to simulate the ocean floor. Students have to graph the different depths that are in some oceans on graphing paper.
In front of the learning center tri-board there is a 9x13 foil pan with sand/gravel and water. This is an activity to show the students how waves affect the beaches. The students use a ruler and move it slowly in the water to create waves and then see the affect it has on the beach at the other end of the pan.
We also have some trade books that could accompany the learning center to facilitate learning and get the students excited about oceans.