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Sunken Treasures

Invite students to explore the mysteries of the bottom of the sea, depicting ocean animals, plants, shipwrecks, and underwater explorers in a 3-D scene.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Many kinds of treasures are found in the world's oceans. These oceans are so difficult to explore, however, that many oceanographers believe scientists know more about Mars than the environments below the earth's ocean surface. Underwater explorations have a long history. In 1620, Cornelius Drebell sailed his submarine, a rowboat covered with leather, in the River Thames. Early scientists dragged buckets on ropes across the ocean floor, scooping up sediment, minerals, deep-sea fish, and plants-natural treasures of the sea. Invite teams of students to select an ocean that interests them. What can they find out about organisms that live in one area of that ocean?
    2. In 1943, explorer Jacques Cousteau and engineer Emile Gagnan invented SCUBA diving gear, which greatly improved underwater exploration. SCUBA stands for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. It enables divers to go deeper, move more freely, and stay under water longer. Invite interested groups to research how technology is used today to uncover natural and lost man-made treasures.
    3. Using poster board or oak tag, student groups draw an underwater seascape with Crayola® Crayons. Remind students to include all three ocean environments: the surface, open ocean, and ocean floor. Reveal the ocean's treasures, both natural and manufactured.
    4. Ask students to cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. To create an underwater effect for their art, students will paint over crayon drawings with Crayola Washable Watercolors and Crayola Watercolor Brushes. This technique is called crayon resist, because the paint slides off the waxy crayon. The crayon colors shine on the page. Dry.
    5. Students may use Crayola Model Magic to sculpt ocean creatures and vegetation. Dry.
    6. Color the sculpted creatures with Crayola Washable Markers. Attach them to your scene with Crayola School Glue. Dry.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

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

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

    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.

    SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.

    SCI: Obtain and communicate information about the characteristics of groups of organisms and evaluate how groups help organisms survive.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

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

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Sounds of the Wild: Ocean by Maurice Pledger; Oceans: Dolphins, sharks, penguins, and more! by Johanna Rizzo; Eye Wonder: Ocean by Sue Thornton; Simon & Schuster Children's Guide to Sea Creatures by Jinny Johnson

    Organize a class trip to an aquarium or oceanographic facility to learn first-hand about life and treasures under the sea. Prior to the visit, students brainstorm questions for the tour guide. After the trip, student post learning to a class blog.

    Invite a skilled SCUBA diver to visit the class and demonstrate diving techniques and safety. Prior to the meeting, students develop questions for the expert. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.


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