June is designated as National Oceans Month and National Zoo and Aquarium Month, so we wanted to offer you an ocean animals unit study. There is so much that can be said and learned about the creatures that live in the ocean depths. Since only 5% of the ocean has been explored according to NOAA (the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration), it’s safe to say there are many, many undiscovered animals swimming in our seas. Of the animals we know, there are so many cool creatures we can discuss!
Is there a subject or topic your children are interested in and you would like to include in your homeschool plans? An easy way to do that is with a unit study. While there are many different ways to do a homeschool unit study, a great thing about them is the flexibility to go as in-depth as you want. You can make them last a day or a month, depending on your child’s interest level. This unit study will give you a jumping-off point, so let’s jump!
Download your free ocean animals homeschool unit study ebook at the bottom of this article.
Ocean Animals Unit Study Book List
- National Geographic Kids – Ocean Animals: Who’s Who in the Deep Blue
- National Geographic Kids – Ocean Animals Collection
- National Geographic Kids – Weird But True Ocean
- National Geographic Kids – The Ultimate Book of Sharks
- The Fascinating Ocean Book for Kids by Bethanie and Josh Hestermann
- Ocean Animals for Kids by Bethanie and Josh Hestermann
- Ocean Animals and Their Ecosystems by Dr. Erica Colón
- Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating and Marta Álvarez Miguéns
- Teeth, Tentacles, and Tail Fins by Matthew Reinhart and Susan B. Katz
- Ocean!: Our Watery World as You’ve Never Seen it Before by DK Smithsonian
- Wally The Whale & Ocean Pollution by Kimaada Le Gendre
- Inky the Octopus: The Official Story of One Brave Octopus’ Daring Escape by Erin Guendelsberger
- The Brave Little Crab by Beth Costanzo
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
- Fish Don’t Sneeze by Kirstie Watson
- On Kiki’s Reef by Carol Malnor
- Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae
- I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean! by Kevin Sherry
- Ocean Animals Sticker Activity Book
- Ocean Animals Coloring Book for Kids
- Marine Science for Kids: Exploring and Protecting Our Watery World, Includes Cool Careers and 21 Activities
- How to Draw Ocean Animals for Kids
- Maria Explores the Ocean: A Kids Yoga Book by Giselle Shardlow
Ocean Animals Homeschool Unit Study Activities
- Fish for Numbers! – Use this fun math game to work on number identification, addition, sequencing, and more! Cut some fish shapes out of foam sheets and write numbers on them with a permanent marker. Add a paper clip to the head of each fish. Screw an eye hook onto the end of a stick for the fishing pole. Tie string onto the eye hook and hot glue a strong magnet onto the end of the string. Fill up a water table, kids pool, or plastic bucket with water, add your numbered foam fish, and start fishing!
- Make a Whale Corner Bookmark! – For this fun activity, you need a square piece of blue paper (15 x 15 cm works great, but the size is up to you!), white paper scraps, a black pen, scissors, and glue sticks. Make a simple origami bookmark with the blue paper square (if you don’t know how, here are basic instructions). Once you have your bookmark, add the details to make it into a whale! Use your scissors to round off the edges. Use those tiny pieces you just cut off to add 2 fins and a tail. With your white paper scraps, add a mouth and eyes. Finish by drawing details (teeth, pupils, etc.) with your black pen.
- Make an Aquarium in a Bottle! – Your kids are sure to love this fun project! Add a couple of inches of sand to the bottom of a clear, empty bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and add a drop or two of blue food coloring (optional). At this point, your kids can add some small seashells and choose some mini plastic sea creatures like these to drop in their bottles. Once the aquarium is complete, tightly close and glue the lid. Enjoy your ocean aquarium sensory bottle!
- Create a Colorful Jellyfish! – Using only a few materials you probably have on hand, your kids can create a jellyfish! Cut the body out of cardboard, add some glue, and stick on colorful buttons. You can either use all one color or mix it up to have a rainbow jellyfish. To finish, cut 10-15 strips of ribbon and glue them to the back for the dangling tentacles.
- Explore the Ocean Layers! – No matter the ages of your children, this activity can be adjusted to their level. There are 5 distinct zones or layers in the ocean with different light strengths and different animals that live in them. Get 5 small containers (glass spice jars work really well) that will stack easily. Label your containers for the 5 zones – Sunlight Zone, Twilight Zone, Midnight Zone, Abyss, and Trenches. Research which ocean animals live where, and using some small plastic sea creature toys, choose one to add to the proper zones. Fill the containers with water, and using blue, red, and green food coloring, make the zones the appropriate colors. There is so much that can be learned through this fun science activity!
- Bonus: Visit an Aquarium! – At some point during this study, perhaps at the end, take your children to visit an aquarium so they can see the animals they have been learning about. Beyond walking around and viewing the ocean animals, make time to see some of the shows and hear the information from the trainers/workers. Let them ask questions and take charge of their learning. It’ll be a fun day to drive this study home!
Ocean Animals Unit Study Homeschool Snacks
- Make Under the Sea Graham Crackers! – For this snack, grab some graham crackers and paint the bottom 2/3 with blue frosting. Sprinkle some graham cracker crumb sand on the bottom. Add a few swimming goldfish. If you want to get more creative, use some white sprinkles for air bubbles, some green sprinkles to make seaweed, and some red sprinkles to make a scurrying crab!
- Make an Aquarium Trail Mix! – Mix together 1 cup of goldfish crackers, 2 cups of popped popcorn, 1 cup of small pretzels, 1 cup of Kix cereal, 1 cup of gummy worms, 1/2 cup of Swedish Fish, and 1/2 cup of vanilla raisins. Once mixed together, add the mix into bowls or small Ziploc baggies, and enjoy!
- Have an Ocean Yogurt Snack! – Your little ones will love making and eating this fun snack. Using clear, plastic cups will provide the best way to view and enjoy the treat. Crush some vanilla wafers for sand and add to the cup. Add blueberry (or any blue-colored) yogurt, and top with ocean fruit snacks!
- Eat a Dolphin Banana! – Get creative with some fruit your kids are sure to love. Add some blueberries to a cup to look like water. Cut a banana in half, using the half with the stem. Cut a slit in the stem and stuff it with a goldfish. Finish by dotting an eye onto the dolphin with a permanent marker, and eat up!
- Make Smores Starfish for Your Ocean Animals Unit Study! – This fun dessert is so easy to make! Cut marshmallows into stars, dip them in melted chocolate and roll them in graham cracker crumbs before the chocolate hardens. Once set, add some candy eyes, and you’re done!
Ocean Animals Homeschool Unit Study Learning Videos
Ocean Animals Homeschool Unit Study Ebook
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