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Melted Oceans

How does the ocean move? Use a mixture of melted crayon colors to create motion in the ocean!

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Provide students with opportunities to view the movement of large bodies of water. This can be done via a field trip to an ocean beach, a video of the ocean, a storm approaching, etc. Discuss what is seen. Direct student discussions towards what causes the movement, as well as how the water looks when in motion. Document student contributions to the discussion using a classroom white board and Crayola Dry-Erase Markers.
    2. Provide students with the opportunity to reconstruct their knowledge through an art activity. Encourage students to choose Crayola® Crayon colors similar to the hues they have seen in ocean water. The paper wrappers need to be peeled from the crayons prior to melting.
    3. With adult assistance, students cover a warming tray with aluminum foil. The tray should be turned on to low heat. The adult working with the group will hold white construction paper on top of the aluminum foil, wearing protective hot pads on his hands.
    4. Slowly and gently, students will draw and swirl the crayons on the paper as the heat melts the wax. Encourage students to blend their colors. Vary shapes and lines, being aware of using the entire paper to create their interpretation of motion in water.
    5. When students are finished, the adult will remove the paper from the heated area. The wax will harden in just a few seconds. When held up to a window, the wax will resemble stained glass.
    6. Provide students with class time to discuss how their artwork illustrates water in motion.
    7. Use this activity to ascertain what students may need to learn about oceans and the ability of water to move things. What suggestions might children have to extend there learning on this subject?
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    LA: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.

    SCI: Make observations from media to construct an evidence-based account that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Organize a collection of photographs from oceans around the world, during various seasons. Have photos organized in a PowerPoint presentation for students to view as a whole class or in small groups. Encourage students to focus in on the movement of the water, noting the season, weather conditions, lunar position, etc. that would influence the water's movement. Note, as well, the color(s) of the water. What influences the movement? What influences the color of the water?

    Encourage students to create an undersea environment in the classroom. Listen to recordings of surf and whale sounds. Have students analyze how these sounds make them feel. Hang fish next and have student-created ocean life "get caught" in the nets. Collect and display shells. Student-owners identify where these were found.

    Students investigate the lives of large sea animals, such as whales. How large do they grow? What is an average weight? What types of habitats allow them to thrive? What, if anything, is happening in oceans today to negatively influence these habitats and threaten the animals? What can be done to halt the destruction of these underwater habitats?

    What is whaling? What products do men get from whales? Is whaling still practiced today?

    Interested students investigate coral reefs and determine why these are endangered. Students should be prepared to share their organized research with classmates.

    Interested students write a poem about the ocean, its inhabitants, habitats and/or endangering ocean life. Share original poems with classmates.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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