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Ocean Scenes and Coral Reefs

Bring oceans to life with colored chalk drawings.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to examine photographs or illustrations of life at various levels of the ocean, from beach to deep sea. Encourage them to note contrasts in colors and textures. Identify variations in plant and animal life.
    2. Organize students into small groups. Each team will select and research a topic related to oceans. Provide a variety of text and electronic resources for students to view. When research is complete, student groups will create oral and/or electronic presentations to share their learning with classmates.
    3. To accompany presentations, groups create ocean visuals. With Crayola® Colored Drawing Chalk, draw layers of the ocean on construction paper or roll craft paper.
    4. To create textures (a coral reef perhaps), rub chalk over a textured background such as the sidewalk.
    5. Draw details of plant and animal life, tucked in and peering out of crevices or coral reef, with fine lines of bright colors. Make shadows, and use misty, blended layers, to create a sense of depth.
    6. Glue small seashells on the beach if desired with Crayola School Glue.
  • Standards

    LA: Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    MATH: Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    SCI: Obtain and share information on the role of the ocean in supporting a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shaping landforms, and influencing climate.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Four Oceans by Wil Mara; Oceans: Dolphins, sharks, penguins, and more! by Johnna Rizzo; Ocean Life From A to Z Book and DVD by Cynthia Stierle; Eye Wonder: Ocean by Sue Thornton

    Organize a field trip to a local aquarium for students. Prior to the visit, students brainstorm what they already know and what they would like to learn more about during the visit. After the trip, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students investigate similarities and differences between fresh-water and salt-water habitats. What are the various types of life found in each? How does the water quality differ? Where are salt water bodies found on Earth? Where is fresh water found? Document these areas on a student-created map of the world. Label each area with the appropriate name.


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