Kids LOVE a place to put their treasures, and this undersea treasure chest is the ultimate safekeeping fantasy. Continue reading “DIY Undersea Treasure Chest”
For Valentine’s Day, we came up with some lovable ocean-themed puns and made them into FREE printable and shareable cards using the artwork from our children’s books. Spread the ocean love! Continue reading “Ocean Valentine’s Day Greetings (Freebie!)”
Are you a lover of ocean life? Do you find yourself being awestruck when you see pictures or video of the ocean realm? Or maybe you just have an inkling of an interest and an overall feeling of “marine biologists have really cool jobs.” Continue reading “Feed Your Inner Marine Biologist!”
A beachy bulletin board (full of ocean puns!), a “Whalecome” sign, and a “No Shell Phones” box — all DIY! Continue reading “3 DIY Crafts for an Ocean-Themed Classroom”
Before heading to the beach, you’d be wise to take a look at these 5 tips to help your trip be fun, safe, and relaxing as can be! Continue reading “5 Tips for a Safe & Happy Beach Trip”
In celebration of World Oceans Day, here are the top 5 reasons why we love the ocean! Continue reading “Happy World Oceans Day”
Happy Sea Turtle Nesting Season! Yep, that magical time starts May 1st and lasts until October 31st (starts March 1st for some areas of Florida). Just imagine, mama sea turtles coming to shore in the disguise of night to lay a nest of 100+ eggs, and then two months later, the babies emerging with their adorable little shells and flippers scurrying down the beach!
With the onset of nesting season, it also means that people living near and visiting the coast have an important responsibility. Continue reading “Happy Sea Turtle Nesting Season!”
This simple technique will help make sure that a stingray hidden in the sand won’t upset your relaxing beach fun! Continue reading “Stingrays + Beach Safety Tip”
There is something so sweet and energizing about reaching for your deepest, most (sea) starry dreams. For us, what started as an inkling of “Wouldn’t it be amazing to write and illustrate a children’s book about the ocean?” has now transformed into a solid “Let’s make MORE children’s books!”
I must admit, I’m pretty passionate about what I’m sharing with you today. It’s one of my favorite things to share with my Marine Biology students, and I get warm fuzzies just seeing their astonished faces! Continue reading “The Amazing Lifesaving Shark”
There’s something about ocean themed quotes that motivates and inspires like nothing else! Continue reading “Sea Inspired Quotes for the Classroom”
Zale is a Greek name meaning “the power of the sea”
In Zale’s Tales: The Quest for the Magic Pearl, Zale is a true adventurer, exploring the ocean as he changes into real ocean creatures. Each animal he changes into gives him a unique adventure and experience.
In Zale’s Tales: The Quest for the Magic Pearl, countless sea stars gathered together around the magic pearl. They, along with many other ocean creatures, were captivated by the pearl’s magic glow. You or your young ones may be wondering, “But how do sea stars move? Can they see where they are going?”
Read on for the answers and kid-friendly fun facts to share with your young one(s)! Continue reading “Dive Deeper: Sea Stars!”
How do you immerse students in the ocean? Start with the classroom environment, of course! Continue reading “Ocean Classroom Design”
A great way to keep a reminder of your beach travels is to create a sand collection using spice jars and a spice rack. It makes for a beautiful display, keeping you connected to those cherished beachy feelings. I must admit, though, I haven’t been to every beach that I have a jar for… Continue reading “Make Your Own Sand Collection + Lesson Idea”
A 3D jellyfish replica makes for a fun project! Here are some of the jellyfish creations my students have come up with. Continue reading “3D Jellyfish Creations”
One of the projects I have students complete in my Marine Biology class is to make a 3D replica of the ocean animal that they chose to research. The goal is to make our own “aquarium” with displays of information to go along with their 3D creation. While there are other options for completing this particular project (video or lesson), they seem to have the most fun with this one!
Take a look at some of their creations!
The journey of a sea turtle is incredible. Adult sea turtles travel thousands of miles to go back and forth between feeding and nesting areas! The mother is able to find her way back to the same beach that she was born on in order to dig her nest and lay around 100 eggs.
Here is what we made using an aquarium that was no longer functional so that the students could see what a sea turtle nest looks like under the sand:
The base structure is made out of green foam blocks that we cut in the shape of the nest to fit inside of the tank.
We spray painted it with sand-colored paint, and once dry, we placed it in the tank as close to the flat front as possible. We poured playground sand (from the hardware store) around the foam on the sides. When sand started coming through the front, we used plain old Elmer’s glue, our fingers, and sand to seal the front edge of the foam next to the glass. It gave it kind of a wet sand appearance, while keeping the sand from filling the nest!
Meanwhile, we spray painted about 100 ping pong balls a glossy white. Once dry, we placed them in the nest. To top it off, we cut one of them open to look jagged, and then placed a toy baby sea turtle inside it to look like it was hatching. With the adult sea turtle replica on the top of the tank lid, it makes for a very visual scene that students immediately grasp.
When they hatch, the tiny hatchlings have a hard road ahead and encounter many obstacles. They spend TWO days breaking free from their egg and climbing up the nest that their mother dug. Usually at night, they come out of the nest and find the water by following the angle of the beach and the moonlight that reflects on the water. They scurry down to the sea and then swim for days out to the open ocean where they will be safer from predators. And so begins a life of journeying the sea!
TIP for teachers and Marine Bio lovers: check out this module which lets you virtually experiment with how sea turtles orient themselves when they emerge from the nest: http://www.chance.psu.edu/modules/Sea-Turtle-Hatchlings/sea-turtle-hatchlings.html.
We also use Kate Mansfield’s “Sea Turtle Survivor” simulation lesson with ping pong balls for students to really understand the natural challenges alone that make survival difficult for sea turtles: http://web.vims.edu/bridge/survivor.pdf.
Want more on sea turtles? Here’s our post all about sea turtle nesting season!