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Under the Sea: Teaching Preschool Children About Ocean Animals

written by: Melissa Elizondo • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 1/20/2012

Preschoolers love learning about animals of all types, including those that live in the ocean. After teaching this lesson, your students will be able to identify which animals live in the sea.

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    This lesson plan can be used as part of a unit on sea life or it can just as effectively be used on its own.

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    Materials

    • Sea Animals by Amy Erickson
    • Construction paper (12 x 18)
    • Plastic wrap
    • Blue tempera paint
    • Water
    • Paintbrushes
    • Crayons
    • Chart paper/marker
    • Double sided tape
    • Ocean pictures
    • Black construction paper strips (optional)
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    Prior Knowledge

    Show students the pictures of the ocean that you brought in and ask them if they have ever been to the ocean.

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    Teach

    Discuss what an ocean looks like and how big they are. Talk about the animals that live in the sea. Show students the cover or the book and have them make predictions based on the cover. Read the book stopping to discuss the animals that are in the book. When you are finished reading, brainstorm a list of animals that live in the sea with your class. Include animals from the book as well as other sea animals.

    Next, talk about aquariums. Ask students if they know what an aquarium is or if they have ever seen one. Talk about what kinds of sea animals might live in an aquarium.

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    Procedure

    Explain to students that they are going to create their own sea animal aquariums. Pass out the construction paper and crayons. Have students draw sea animals on their paper. They can use the list you made earlier, and they can also come up with other sea animals not on the list.

    Mix the blue paint with water. Use a mixture of about half paint and half water. You need enough water to thin out the paint. Have students use the paintbrushes to cover the entire picture with the mixture. Pick up the pictures and allow them to dry. Make sure students’ names are on them.

    Once the pictures have dried, put a piece of double sided tape at each corner and in the middle of the bottom of the picture. Pass the pictures back out with the tape already attached and pass out a piece of plastic wrap to every student. The plastic wrap pieces should be big enough to cover the picture with a little bit hanging over the top to give the illusion of an aquarium. Have students press the plastic wrap into place over the tape.

    If you are using the black construction paper strips, tape them to the plastic wrap. Use the same procedure you did when you attached the plastic wrap. Attach double sided tape in the corners and the bottom center of the picture. Then, cover the sides and the bottom of the picture with the construction paper strips.

    These aquariums make a wonderful bulletin board display. A great title would be, “What Lives Under the Sea?”

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    Assess

    During free play time, have students come up one at a time. Show them pictures of different animals, including a sea animal. Have them pick out the sea animal.

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    Extend

    Take a field trip to the local aquarium if you have one nearby.

    Teach more about oceans and sea animals. Find more preschool lessons about animals of the sea right here at Bright Hub.


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