CURRICULUM BRIDGES: MARINE LIFE


[MATH | LANGUAGE ARTS | SOCIAL STUDIES | VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS | LITERATURE LINKS]



MATH:

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Grade Level: Beginning

MAMMALS: There are 5 whales swimming through the ocean. They meet up with 7 dolphins. How many mammals are there altogether?

Grade Level: Beginning

A WALRUS CALF: A walrus calf (baby) is learning to swim. During his lessons a calf will sometimes hold onto its mother's flipper. The calf swims awhile and then clings to the flipper of his mom. He then holds onto his mom's flipper 5 more times. How many times does the calf hold onto his mother's flipper?

Grade Level: Beginning

HOW MANY FISH: In the ocean depth many fish are swimming. Pretend that you can swim with the fish and that you have a net to catch some with. You catch 2 fish at one time and then swim farther and catch 6 more fish. How many fish have you caught altogether?

Grade Level: Intermediate

TWELVE DOLPHINS: 12 dolphins are swimming through the water at 20 miles per hour. There are 4 plastic rings and each of the dolphins swim through the rings. How many times are the rings used by the dolphins to swim through?

Grade Level: Intermediate

MARINE ANIMALS: Many marine animals are masters of "flight" and speed under the water. Some can swim up to 12,500 miles to migrate. These are the Gray Whales that migrate from the far north to breeding grounds off California. If they swim about 200 miles a day, how many days will it take for them to reach their destination in California?

Grade Level: Intermediate

SPERM WHALES: Sperm Whales "dive" to the ocean depths to catch and eat Giant Squid. The Whales ability to "fly" through the water is fascinating. These mammals have to deal with the fact that the water is about 800 times denser than air and has a high viscosity. Viscosity is the internal friction of a fluid. Combined with the density it makes the water much more difficult to move through than air. If the Sperm Whale is traveling at a speed of 40 miles per hour and they swim to a depth of 30 miles, how long would it take him to reach the Giant Squid which live in the ocean depths?

Grade Level: Advanced

BALEEN WHALES: Baleen Whales feed on plankton. Plankton is krill and other tiny creatures that float in the water. The krill is shrimplike and float in huge swarms in the Antarctic summer seas. The whale can gather 4,000,000 krill a day. If the Whale gathers the krill for 21 days at the same rate, what is the total amount of krill that they have gathered?

Grade Level: Advanced

FAST SWIMMING FISH: Fast swimming fish have special features to enhance the streamlining in their "flight" through water. These can include fins that can be tucked away in special grooves when moving quickly. Two fish are swimming at the same time, starting at the same point, and potentially at the same rate of speed. One fish, however, has a torn groove and his fin sticks out which slows his speed down 60%. If the healthy fish swims to the destination in 1 hour, how long does it take the wounded fish to arrive?

Grade Level: Advanced

FISH MOVEMENT: As the fish moves, water flows over its body. One flow over the fish is called laminar (meaning smooth). Streamlining of the bodyshape promotes laminar flow and is necessary in order for the fish to reach high speeds. Dolphins have stumped scientists for years because of their ability to make pure laminar flow. Dolphins can swim up to 30 miles per hour. If their destination is Hawaii and the distance is 2,100 miles, how many hours will it take the Dolphin to arrive?





LANGUAGE ARTS:

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Grade Level: Beginning

SHAPE POEM: Have the children make a shape poem about a Dolphin. You can write the words together on the blackboard and then have the children use the words to copy on their own paper. The following steps are needed to make the shape poem.
  1. Make a list of the words that tell about the Dolphin.
  2. Choose the words you like best and arrange them to create a pleasing sound.
  3. Give each child a sheet of paper and a picture of a Dolphin.
  4. Have the children trace the outlined shape of the Dolphin on their paper.
  5. Then have the children clip a sheet of thin white paper over their drawing.
  6. Have the children then write the words of the poem following the outline they drew.
  7. Then have the children paste their shape poem to a sheet of colored paper.


Grade Level: Beginning

FLYING FISH: As a class write a story about a Flying Fish and its adventures in the Indian Ocean. A Flying Fish may soar up to 35 miles per hour for distances of 250 yards in a single glide! Stimulate the children's thinking and imagination during this activity to come up with some 'magical' qualities to this Flying Fish. Then have the children copy the words on paper that they have told you to write for them on the blackboard . As the final part of the assignment ask the children to draw a picture of how they think the Flying Fish will look.

Grade Level: Beginning

SEA TURTLE: A Sea Turtle's flipper looks like an airplane wing when looked at in a cross-section. Thus this flipper is subject to the same types of forces when the animal is swimming. Have the children write a story together about 'Fred, the Sea Turtle' and his mishaps during the day in the ocean.

Grade Level: Intermediate

JET PROPULSION: A very unique form of movement through the water is jet propulsion. A jellyfish is a wonderful example of this ability of motion in the ocean. Have the class create a story line that could be placed in a newspaper article about a jellyfish that can do his jet propulsion better than other jellyfish.

Grade Level: Intermediate

SEA SCALLOPS: Sea Scallops can move through the ocean waters with a unique motion of clapping their two shells together with contractions of their adductor muscles. The water is forced out between the two shells in two jets, sending the scallop to safety. They cannot do this for long periods of time because it is very exhausting. Have the class write an 'ad' in the want column of the newspaper for 'help' in improving the muscle tone for the local Sea Scallop population. Encourage the class to make it humorous.

Grade Level: Intermediate

BREATH OF AIR: When a Dolphin is traveling at high speeds it will jump clear out of the water to get the needed breath of air. This reduces greatly the amount of time spent fighting the pull of the wake (of the ocean) and does not slow the Dolphin down. Have the class write a play about "Eddy, The Non Stop Dolphin". Encourage the class to use their imaginations and sense of humor for this assignment.

Grade Level: Advanced

THE FISH'S SKELETON: The skeleton of a fish is very strong and flexible. It provides a strong foundation for the many muscles it has. Their backbone covers their entire frame from head to tail and consists of interlocking vertebrae that are jointed. This allows for side to side movement. The tail on many fish has a bony keel at the base that allows the fish to cut through the water. Have the class write an advertisement for a "Fish Gym" where they can strengthen their spines and tails.

Grade Level: Advanced

THE BLOWHOLE: Have the class divide up into groups of 4 students each. Then ask each group to write a 'classified ad' about why the blowholes on their whale is the best. (The blowhole of a Whale is really its nostril. When the Whale is underwater the blowhole is closed by muscles surrounding the opening. Various species of Whales produce differently shaped spouts).

Grade Level: Advanced

HUMPBACK WHALE: A Humpback Whale is a marine mammal which is streamlined for swimming. They swim by up and down movements of their tail, not side to side movements like a fish. Their front limbs are flippers and not fins. Their skin is smooth and has a few hairs while a fish has a scaly skin. Although the Humpback Whale is 50 feet long it glides easily through the water. Have the students do a report about the Humpback Whale and share their findings with the rest of the class.





SOCIAL STUDIES:

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Grade Level: Beginning

AQUARIUM VISIT: As a class visit an Aquarium where the children can view fish up close and even experience hands on exhibits. When you return to school ask each child to talk into a tape recorder and express their feelings about the visit and what they have learned about fish, sea mammals, and the ocean life.

Grade Level: Beginning

BOOK QUEST: Give each child in the class a book appropriate to their age about marine life. Ask them to write a simple report about what they learn from the book. Help them with spelling, sentence structure, and length of the report. Make it fun for them.

Grade Level: Beginning

SAVING SEA LIFE: As a class do a short study on how man is helping to save sea life. Read books to the children about this subject, discuss the matter, and then together write a journal about the findings. Share the journal with other classes in your school to make them aware of what is happening in this area of protecting the world of marine life.

Grade Level: Intermediate

FAMOUS MEN AND WOMEN: Have the students go to the library and look up information about famous people who have contributed to the general knowledge about the ocean and its inhabitants. One such person is Jacques Cousteau who has contributed a vast array of knowledge of the sea and its creatures. Then have the students write up their findings and share with the rest of their class.

Grade Level: Intermediate

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Have the students do a report on endangered marine life species. Encourage them to investigate how man is trying to save these endangered species.

Grade Level: Intermediate

AMAZING ANIMALS OF THE SEA: Have the class divide into teams of 2 students each. Ask them to find information about amazing animals of the sea and share orally their findings with the rest of the class.

Grade Level: Advanced

DOLPHIN INTELLIGENCE: Dolphins appear to be highly intelligent. Have the class do a study about them and how man has been helped by these marine mammals with brains larger than ours.

Grade Level: Advanced

ANTARCTICA: Have the students do a study of what it is like for Seals living in Antarctica. Have them include human interest stories, legends, and truths about the frozen North and how these things have impacted the Seals.

Grade Level: Advanced

HUNTING THE WHALES: For centuries, people hunted Whales for meat, oil, and baleen. Ask your students to do a report about the whalers, their lives, their methods of hunting Whales, and their misuses of the Whales along with the heroics of many whalers.





VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS:

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Grade Level: Beginning

WAXED PAPER FISH: Give each student colored tissue paper, construction paper, glitter, and waxed paper. Ask them to draw and cut out fish shapes, star fish, seaweed, etc. with the tissue paper and construction paper. Then ask each student to come to your station in the classroom where you have set up a warmed iron. Ask the child to place their marine life items on a piece of waxed paper. You (as the teacher) sprinkle glitter over the items and place a piece of waxed paper on top and then press together with the warmed iron. Do not put too many items between the waxed paper. You need to be sure to have enough waxed paper space to iron together so that it will stick. This is an involved project, but the results are very rewarding!

Grade Level: Beginning

A PLAY SCENE: Ask the children to pretend that they are fish. Have them make fins and tails out of construction paper. Attach them to the children with large paper clips and safety pins. Then play soft music and ask the students to 'glide, fly, and soar' through the water like fish. They love this type of activity.

Grade Level: Beginning

A SMALL AQUARIUM: Using a shoebox ask the children to make a marine life scene using paper and small natural items like shells, grass, rocks, etc. Then after they have finished the scene you can place a piece of saran wrap over the opening to make it look like a piece of glass over an aquarium.

Grade Level: Intermediate

FLYING FISH KITE: Give your students materials to make paper kites that look like Flying Fish. The materials should include large pieces of lightweight paper, string, thin sticks, glue, scissors, and paint or marking pens. Then on a windy day take your class outside to fly the kites. Ask your students to imagine that the sky is a great big ocean that the Flying Fish are soaring through.

Grade Level: Intermediate

PICTURE DISPLAY: Provide large, colorful pictures of marine life that you can place around the room. Provide large pieces of paper for each of your students. Then ask your students to create and draw variations (using their imaginations) of the known marine life that you have displayed. Have a contest with many different categories so that all the students will have a chance to win.

Grade Level: Intermediate

MARINE LIFE PARK: Ask your students to design a "Marine Life Park" with the different elements that are included in such a park. Give them ideas from your own experience and also seek their corporate ideas as a class. Ask them to make up drawings of their park, what marine life will be included, what the costs will be to run the place, etc.

Grade Level: Intermediate/Advanced

A WHALE MOBILE: Have your class make a Whale mobile. You will need tracing paper, cardboard, paint, brushes, tape, scissors, pencils, and thread. Examples of Whales that you can include in the mobile are Killer Whale, Humpback Whale, Right Whale, Blue Whale, Fin Whale, and Sperm Whale. The steps to making the mobile are:
  1. Draw or trace the whale outline.
  2. Transfer the outlines to a piece of cardboard.
  3. Cut around the edges of each whale.
  4. Paint the whales.
  5. Make a ring out of paper from which to hang the whales.
  6. Using thread attach the whales to the ring and the ring to the ceiling.


Grade Level: Advanced

THEATRE PRODUCTION: Have your students write a theatre production about a group of marine life fish and mammals. Include the personal life stories of the various fish, giving them personalities and idiosyncrasies. Ask your class to use their imaginations and then design costumes for their production using paper and fabric.

Grade Level: Advanced

MUSICAL SCORE: Ask your students to write a song or melody about the sea. There should be at least a couple of students in the class that have some musical knowledge that you can draw on for this assignment.

Grade Level: Advanced

SILHOUETTES: There is a tremendous variety in the shapes and sizes of fish. Have the students draw and cut out various shaped fish from black paper and display on a bulletin board as an underwater environment. Fish live at different depths in the ocean. This is called a water column. When placing the silhouettes on the bulletin board remember this general rule about fish. The surface area is for small fish, floating algae and plankton. The middle depths are for quick-moving fish, fish with streamlined bodies, and predatory fish. And the bottom/floor area of the ocean are for slow-moving fish and flat fish.





LITERATURE LINKS:

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Dolphin
Author: Robert A. Morris
Publisher: New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1975
Grade Level: K-2
Synopsis:
This is a wonderful story about a baby dolphin and its first 6 months of life. The illustrations capture the graceful movements of these mammals

Baby Whales Drink Milk
Author: Barbara Juster Esbensen
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994
Grade Level: K-2
Synopsis:
This is a wonderful book giving small children a picture of the lives of whales and how they are so completely different from people. And yet there are things that we have in common with whales because we are both mammals. The colored illustrations are beautiful and add to the text

Whale Song: A Celebration of Counting
Author: Tony Johnson
Publisher: Putnam, 1987
Grade Level: K-3
Synopsis:
This is a simple story with lovely illustrations in which whales count as they sing. The mathematical focus is the use of number words

Down in the Sea: the Octopus
Author: Patricia Kite
Publisher: Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 1993
Grade Level: K-3
Synopsis:
The beautiful colored photographs and simple text is a wonderful combination for this book about the octopus. Children will be fascinated by their almost space-age formations

Whales and Dolphins
Author: Lionel Bender
Publisher: New York: Gloucester Press, 1988
Grade Level: 3-5
Synopsis:
This is a great book for students who want to learn more about whales and dolphins. The text, colored photographs and illustrations add to the wonder of marine life and how important it is for us to know as much as possible about its world.

Whales
Author: Gilda Berger
Publisher: New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1987
Grade Level: 3-7
Synopsis:
In this wonderfully colored illustrated book you will find information about the anatomy and behavior of over 20 major species. The comprehensive text is easy to read and will capture the imagination of young readers.BR>
Whales and Dolphins
Author: Steve Parker
Publisher: Quarto Publishing plc., 1992; The Sierra Club Book
Grade Level: 3-7
Synopsis:
This book gives the reader a rare glimpse into the world of whales and dolphins. The text and glossary at the end compliment the wonderful pictures and illustrations throughout the book

Jellyfish and Other Sea Creatures
Author: Oxford Scientific Films
Publisher: New York: G.P. Putnam, 1982
Grade Level: 3-5
Synopsis:
This is a terrific book about jellyfish and other sea creatures. The text is narrowed to the specifics of the wonderful colored photographs that grace each page of the book, except for the first few pages which explain the scientific characteristics of these creatures.

The Crab on the Seashore
Author: Jennifer Coldrey
Publisher: Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1987
Grade Level: 3-6
Synopsis:
This is a detailed text about crabs and includes clear and colorful photographs of them. Included with the text is a glossary at the end. The book covers the crab's life in its natural habitats, how it feeds itself, defends himself itself, and reproduces.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
Author: Scott O'Dell
Publisher: Dell, 1987
Grade Level: 3-6
Synopsis:
This is a story based on the life of an Indian girl who lives on an island. By the time she is at the age of 18 she is use to the creatures who live in the sea

Whales
Author: Seymour Simon
Publisher: Harper, 1990
Grade Level: 3-6
Synopsis:
This book describes the whales as sea mammals and shows the physical characteristics and the environment in which they live. There are colored photographs

The Fish: The Story of the Stickleback
Author: Margaret Lane
Publisher: Dial, 1981
Grade Level: 3-8
Synopsis:
This is the wonderful story about the unusual mating habits of the common stickleback fish. The illustrations are beautiful

Whales: Giants of the Deep
Author: Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Publisher: Holiday House, 1984
Grade Level: 3-9
Synopsis:
There are a variety of whales that are discussed in this book. The text includes the physical and social characteristics, their importance to man, and recent conservation efforts on their behalf. It has beautiful colored photographs

Sea Stars and Their Kin
Author: Herbert S. Zim and Lucretia Krantz
Publisher: New York: William Morrow and Co., 1976
Grade Level: 4-7
Synopsis:
This is an interesting book about sea stars and their kin. The narrative is fascinating and the black and white pen drawings add to the mystery of these creatures

Amazing Animals of the Sea
Author: National Geographic Society
Publisher: Library of Congress, 1981
Grade Level: 4-8
Synopsis:
This is a fabulous book with colored photographs and thorough text that covers a wide range of marine life from sea otters to porpoises and whales. It also includes histories about these marine animals that are very interesting

The Whale: Mighty Monarch of the Sea
Author: Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Publisher: Doubleday, 1972
Grade Level: 6-9
Synopsis:
This is the fascinating story of Cousteau's experiences with many different types of whales. There are colored photographs to compliment the text

The Year of the Whale
Author: Victor B. Scheffer
Publisher: Scribner's, 1969
Grade Level: 6-12
Synopsis:
This is a chronicled story of the 12 months in the life of a young sperm whale. It is well- illustrated and includes background information about whales in general

The Silent World
Author: Jacques Cousteau
Publisher: Isis, 1989
Grade Level: 8
Synopsis:
The author describes what it is like to swim with sea creatures, explore sunken ships, and recover lost artifacts. It has lovely colored pictures

The Living Sea
Author: Jacques Cousteau and James Dugan
Publisher: Lyons and Burford, 1988
Grade Level: 8
Synopsis:
This is a wonderful classic book that introduces the reader to the underwater world of the sea. It has beautiful pictures.



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