Category: Science: Ocean Unit


Aquarium of the Smokies (Gatlinburg, TN)

We spent an amazing afternoon at the Aquarium of the Smokies.  It was really fabulous. There were all different kinds of displays from the Tropical Rain Forest, penguin display, sting ray bay, underwater sea life, whale skeletons, a coral reef, and much more. I’ll try not to overwhelm you with pictures–just putting together a few collages, but it was such a great day it’s been hard whittling down the pictures!!   The...


Ocean Unit Freebies

Since I talked so much about the ocean yesterday, I thought I would share some of the ocean related freebies I made for our ocean unit last fall.  I hope someone finds these helpful. Remember, crustaceans, arachnids and insects are all part of the arthropod group (look at this chart to see what I mean).  This is not a complete list of invertebrate groups, just some of the ones we studied last...


Seashore Life

Last week we joined my folks, sister and brother-in-law and my two nieces and nephew on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Because they are homeschoolers as well, we took advantage of the pre-season prices and lack of crowds to enjoy time off together at the shore. We had such a great time — splashing in the waves, building sand castles, being buried in the sand, riding in the waves...


Fossil Hunting

We love fossils!   I guess the fire was first lit in Australia.  My scientist friend told us about a creek south of Alice Springs where people have found lots of fossils. (See original post here: Fossils in Australia and the photos below.) We took the kids and made some great finds. Even my friend, Peter, was impressed!  LD was hooked on fossils!   Not too long after that we...


Whale Unit (and the Arctic) — Icebergs, Blubber experiment, Buoyancy and more

Whales are able to survive in the frigid waters of the Arctic. In this series of activities the kids and I explored how that is possible. First, not directly related to the whales themselves, we talked about icebergs. We took giant cottage cheese cartons and froze big blocks of ice.  One of those blocks had our wooly mammoth plastic creature. I had the kids guess how much of the ice...


Whale Unit (and the Arctic) – Migration, Echolocation, Baleen vs. Toothed Whales

One of the days we read books, I stopped frequently to explain things and do activities with the kids. Whale Migration: For example, we talked in quite some depth about whale migration from the Arctic down the west coast of North America and back again.  I pulled out an Arctic Pin map I made and the kids placed the various countries that make up the Arctic region. You can download...


Whale Unit (and the Arctic) – Buoyancy

Have you ever started a unit and then something else unfolds?  Well this is a unit I started to put together on the Arctic.  You might even recall that we covered Antarctica for a couple of days to lead up to this unit. The more we got into it, the more this turned into a full blown study of whales!  We spent more than a week reading, doing experiments and...

Ocean Unit:: Cephalopods from Science Friday 0

Ocean Unit:: Cephalopods from Science Friday

My friend shared this really terrific video that talks a bit about how octopus and squid camouflage themselves by changing their skin color AND texture. It is astounding how much the octopus in the video blended into the bush. What an amazing world we live in! Please like & share:


Ocean Activities – diorama

We made the starfish, sand dollars, crabs and coral out of cornstarch clay. 1 cup cornstarch 1 cup baking soda 1/2 tablespoon salt 1 cup water Mix and cook on low to medium in a pot until it congeals together. We had fun putting this project together. I’ll share the various steps below: We spent one day painting our boxes. The girls then added glue and sand along the bottom....

Starting Our New Routine 5

Starting Our New Routine

Sorry about the endless postings about our ocean unit… just a couple more and that’s that!  Blogs are funny because they sure don’t show the whole picture. From looking at our blog our days are consumed by oceans!!  Heh heh! Well, that’s not at all accurate.  I read and read, planned and planned and finally the older kids started back to school last week. As you’ve seen, ED has been...


Ocean Animals — the real deal

Even though it was quite a drive for us, I decided a trip to the aquarium was in order with all our studies of ocean animals. We went last week. We sure had a terrific day! We all LOVED the jellyfish displays!   We were so lucky to see the octopus moving all around!       Everyone loved the sharks and we were lucky to see the sharks, sting...


Ocean Animals and Their Groups

I made this activity for my older kids (5 and 8).  You can download and print these sheets here: Ocean Animals and Their Groups  You can download and print these sheets here. There are two pages. You might want to make a colored circle on the back of each of the three related cards. Use a different color for each animal. That way, the kids can check their own work as needed. ...


Sewing Ocean Animals

We haven’t done that much sewing here at the Homeschool Den, so when I saw these cute projects over at future girl‘s blog I thought they’d be perfect. The kids each chose their own project. I thought they turned out pretty cute! DD made the octopus. LD made the jellyfish. ED made the fish. DD and LD did the sewing completely on their own, although I threaded the embroidery thread...