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Under Hawaiian Seas

Use ears, eyes, hands and imagination to create a colorful underwater scene as described by a partner.

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

    1. Explore the concept of Hawaiian seas through a shared read-aloud experience, video, or learning game. Imagine and then write detailed descriptions of underwater animal and plant life using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Which shapes are seen? Colors? Lines? Light? What is moving? Use vivid adjectives and lots of detail.
    2. Organized in teams of two, students read descriptions to each other, listening carefully to build a mental image of the other child's scene.
    3. Use Crayola Washable Watercolors, Watercolor Brushes, and Markers on watercolor paper to create the underwater scene described by one's partner. Experiment with different effects on wet and dry paper using techniques such as these: Bubbles-Create bubbles by leaving small circles of white paper. Surround the bubble with black marker. Outlines-Outline objects in black marker so they "jump" off the page, or leave white edges around lines. Color blending-Mix colors before or after placing paint on the paper. For intense colors, blend two dark colors with very little water.
    4. Students compare their paintings with a partner's written description. Discuss how words affect perceptions.
    5. Mount paintings on black construction paper with Crayola Washable Glue Sticks to make an aquarium-like frame for exhibit.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    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: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    MATH: Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties.

    SCI: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

    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: Simon & Schuster Children's Guide to Sea Creatures by Jinny Johnson; Ocean Life From A to Z b Cynthia Stierli; Eye Wonder: Ocean by Samantha Gray

    Organize a field trip to a local aquarium. Prior to the trip, students compose questions and predict what they may see. After the trip, students post learning to a class blog.

    Student teams identify vocabulary terms used in partner writing that assisted describing the illustration. Make a list of these terms and combine lists from all teams to post in the classroom for ease of reference.

    Encourage students to shift the focus of their investigation into ocean life to a local lake or pond. What type of plants and water life exist? Is it a healthy environment? What type of information is required to determine the health of a body of water? Invite a local environmentalist to visit with the class and share his knowledge of the local bodies of water. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students create a map of the islands that comprise Hawaii. Label each island and the water bodies that surround them. Investigate what steps are taken by the state to keep its water clean and healthy.


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