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Undersea Plant and Animal Life

Get to know the living things in the great big underwater world.

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

    1. Working in small groups, invite students to examine the relationships between land and water, studying various conditions and species that are found in different water levels (tidal zone, shallows, coral reefs, mid-ocean, and ocean floor).
    2. Students organize their research into an electronic format to share with classmates.
    3. Once all presentations have been viewed by the class, instruct each group to use recycled cardboard as the base for the relief board of their project, cutting it to a pre-determined size using Crayola® Scissors.
    4. On the cardboard base, shape models and build up layers of Crayola Model Magic to depict plant and animal life in and near the sea. Carve and imprint the Model Magic to show the shapes of terrain, textures, and vegetation. Craft sticks and toothpicks work well as modeling tools. Dry overnight.
    5. Optional: Cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Show the colors of undersea life by painting the undersea scene using Crayola Watercolors or Tempera Paint and Brushes.
    6. Find a safe place in the classroom or school to display student work.
  • 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: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

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

    MATH: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.

    SCI: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    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: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • 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; Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews

    Students research the Inuit people, where they live, a typical day in their lives, culture, religious practices, etc. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Organize a field trip to a local aquarium to allow students an opportunity to view ocean life in action. Upon returning to the classroom, students post learning to a class blog.

    Encourage students to investigate plant and animal life at specific depths of the oceans. Students create a model reflecting their research. Label all organisms included in the model.


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