Marine Biology

 by Mildred Guthrie



Just last week I received notification that my South Carolina EIA grant was approved. Part of the grant was the purchase of Tom Snyder’s multimedia kit entitled The Great Ocean Rescue. Lesson plans and activities which challenge G/T students are part of the package. Students will become scientists and look for trouble/danger. They will work in cooperative teams with scientific experts to travel the ocean floor, sea coasts, and coral reefs on their Great Ocean Rescue. Information from videodiscs and student books will be analyzed to solve problems. Because each student has unique "expert" materials, they can succeed only by sharing their knowledge and ideas. The students will learn valuable content while developing excellent research skills.


The knowledge, materials and information I obtained in this course will complement the commercial package. The textbook and other books collected will aid in the students’ research activities. The sand, shells, pictures, and other collectibles will offer hands-on science activities. The enlarged map of the Berry Islands will provide tracking skills.



Warm-up Activities


  1. Students will complete mazes on laminated activity cards of fish, shells, turtles, and sharks.


  2. Students will solve letter, number, and picture codes about the ocean. They will also develop their own codes for the class to share and to compile in a booklet.


 Language Arts Activities


  1. Students will write and illustrate a booklet of undersea expressions. (This can be done as computer generated stacks). There should be only one expression per page and may include the following expressions as well as original ones:


  • I am a crab when....


  • I clam up when....


  • I had a whale of a time when....


  • Once I spouted off about....


  • I knew my ship came in when....


  • I’m a fish out of water when....


  • I was in over my head when....


  • The tides were turned when....


  2. After the teacher has read Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan Londan, students will select a sea animal and write a myth explaining some phase of that animal’s behavior or development. This will be an independent project. Students may use Writing Center, SuperPrint, or HyperStudio to publish myths.



Art Activities

  2. Ocean Watercolors


    With white construction paper and white crayon, student will draw and color an ocean scene. Next, student will brush picture with light green or blue watercolor paint. While the picture is still wet, student will cover once with dark green or blue watercolor paint.


  3. Hanging Fish Mobile


    Student will make a mobile with fish of different colors and sizes.


    Materials: 9-12 colored construction paper, string, clothes hangers, and glue.


    Procedure: fold paper in half, draw fish shape, pencil in a curve ½" inside fish, draw vertical lines ½" apart from fold to pencil line, cut along ruled lines, unfold and bend every other strip backward, add details with markers, and then hang fish with string.


  4. Mangrove Swamp


Students will build a mangrove swamp in one corner of the classroom. The class will be divided into teams to make a red mangrove tree complete with trunk, roots, and branches. Each group will be responsible for animals that live in their section.



Social Studies


  2. The turtle...Introduce the first American submarine invented by David Bushnell in 1776, named The Turtle. Students will then research the Hunley, a Confederate submarine which sank off Charleston Harbor and has been in the news recently. Check microfilm at the West Ashley County Library.



  3. Field Trip...Culminate study with a field trip to the Charleston Museum to see the replica of the Hunley and participate in a scavenger hunt of other inventions which pertain to oceans and ocean life.





  2. Math Thinking Puzzle, called Add-A-Bubble (overhead transparency). Arrange the numbers in the rows of bubbles so that the row adds up to 9.



  3. Build a sextant using a protractor, straw, string, and fishing weight. Measure angles of sun, trees, etc.



  4. Prepare an experiment to change salt water into drinking water.


    Materials: 2 glass bowls of different sizes, baking pan, black construction paper, salt water, and sunshine.



  5. Duplicate The Mangrove Community by Fred and Joanna James for students (25 copies bound into booklets so that each day’s class can use). Students will identify the three types of mangrove trees and ways the trees facilitate change. They will also diagram a food web of the swamp.



  6. Recycling at sea...Students will develop a plan for recycling at sea. Compare that plan to what actually happened on the Miami Star this summer. (Procedures used on the boat are noted in my journal).



  7. Experiment with sails...Design model boats and attach them to the boat with toothpicks. Float the boats on water by blowing through a straw. Which designs are more efficient? Brainstorm uses of wind power and compare it to other forms of energy.

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