Unit Plan

Lesson Plans || Curriculum Standards || Booklist

Teachers: This Web resource about oceans is written to be adaptable to the teacher's needs. It can be used as a complete unit, as a module for inclusion in a larger study or each component can be used independently. The activities are sorted by the book they compliment but could be used with any unit on the ocean.

Invitation: Children of all ages enjoy reading stories based on ocean topics. Students will read ocean story books and apply the information gained from them by completing creative writing activities, art activities and experiments.

Situations: Students will work in classrooms, media center or computer lab where computers with Internet access are located. They will work individually, in pairs and in small groups. The whole group participates in the reading and discussions of books.

Tasks: The class will begin a KWL (know, want to know, learned) chart about oceans to begin the unit and complete it with what we've learned at the end of the unit.

Participation in an Internet treasure hunt: Search for a Treasure Chest of Ocean Facts will give the students an overview of the subject matter. Students will be encouraged to bookmark sites they want to learn more about.

Factual information about waves, currents and tides will be covered in another Internet treasure hunt: Diving for Ocean Facts. Students will participate in experiments that demonstrate how waves are formed. (Directions are in the Notes) Treasure Hunt - Teacher Notes

Students will be introduced to the differences between oceans and bodies of fresh water through discussion. An experiment to grow salt crystals will be conducted. Create a heavily salted body of water, using a pot or beaker: suspend a string in an arc that crosses below the surface of the water: note the level of the water (with a ruler or with markings on the beaker) as it evaporates, and record this level each day in a line graph. As the water level sinks, observe the formation of salt crystals. If you keep the beaker in a sunny window the water will evaporate more quickly. Why? Children will also compare the flotation of objects in fresh and salt water. (The weight of water)

Students will construct a Water Cycle and learn how the earth's water is recycled.

As students read the books from the list, or have them read to them, they will complete interactive activities (Crab Maze, Slide Puzzles, Crossword Puzzles, Word Searches, Jigsaw Puzzle, and Slide Shows and a Fishbuilder) to increase their awareness of sea animals and the ocean environment.

Creative writing activities and art activities will be completed for each book study. (Choose activities appropriate for your students from the Writing Activities and Art Activities pages.

You can find more Lesson Plans on the Resource Page.

Curriculum Standards


Progress toward achievement of the objectives will consist of ongoing assessment through discussions with individual students and whole group. Observations will be made to determine students' interest in literature and the use of a variety of reading strategies. Students should demonstrate the ability to relate ideas, organize information, make predictions and distinguish fact from fiction.

A rubric will be applied to writing assignments to measure correct grammar, spelling, sentence structure and punctuation.


  • Classroom computers with Internet access
  • ClarisWorks for Kids or other word processing software
  • Pencils, paper and art supplies
  • Books related to ocean theme
  • Reference materials, access to school media center

The following items are desirable but not crucial to the success of the unit.

  • Digital Chisel, HyperStudio or Web Workshop for creating Web pages
  • Web server access for publishing work

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