Welcome to our end of the year beach-ocean theme unit.
This unit is perfect for the end of the year. In Virginia,
my students are very familiar with the ocean and have frequently
visited the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.
Additionally, the unit involves active activities to keep the
end of the year energy moving along a positive learning
curve. So, dive in with the Room 35 Pugsters as we have
fun, fun, fun, until the last dismissal bell of the year rings!
Getting Started with
Planning this unit was enjoyable. The suggestions listed
on this page are the result of my lesson preparation
research. Check out these ideas and/or links to supplement
your own creative ideas.
the background and bulletin board ....
* Begin with
the basic background and sea plants. The students will add
the art work as the unit progresses. The picture below
shows the completed project.
FOR THE ART PROJECTS
TLC Ocean Books - http://www.tlclessons.com
Teacher's Friend Publications - June book
Seahorse - I drew the seahorse on chart paper to make a
pattern then transferred the pattern to tag board. I made
8 seahorses from tag board. Students traced the seahorse
on large construction paper. Then, sponge painted the
seahorses. The color of the construction paper does not
make a difference. The varied colors made the seahorse
sponge painting more interesting. Dots were made from
paint dotted with Q-Tips.
Crab - made from paper plates. The pattern and
directions are in the June book published by Teacher's Friend
OCEAN BLUE TLC BOOK
My students created their "Ocean Blue" books using the
TLC art book called Ocean. We created one page a
day. At the end of the book making project, students bind
the pages together and take their book home in the beach pails
after our beach party celebration. Below are examples from
two pages of this book.
The two beach party CDs that my students love are listed
below. I copy a few of the songs on chart paper. All
of the beach/ocean poems are written in one large chart pad
(spiral pad with about 50 pages). The kids use the charts
for reading the room or as a listening center to sing the
songs. We usually begin our day with one of the more
active songs after our morning meeting time. To view the
music CDs or to order, click on the cover pictures. This
is a direct link to Amazon.com.
ERIC CARLE BOOKS
written by Eric Carle into the beach-ocean theme unit. The
text and art work in each book weave creative learning
experiences students can apply in their writing and artistic
endeavors. The seahorse book has abundant information
about the habits of seahorses. I use a House for Hermit
Crab as a springboard for students to create their own
embellished book retelling the story. To view any of the books
in this unit, simply click the mouse on the book cover
picture. This is a direct link to Amazon.com.
reading the book, A House for Hermit Crab, I review the
story through picture walk activity. On the board, I
have chart paper taped and a marker ready to use as students
dictate their responses to the picture walk sequence
activity. The months are listed on the chart paper.
Students dictate an event that happened to Mr. Seahorse each
month. When the chart is completed, we talk about being
writers and illustrators like Eric Carle. I model the book
making activity students will complete over the next two to
three days at this time. Each student will make their own
House for Hermit Crab book using the charted responses, crayons,
markers, colored pencils, and construction paper scraps. The
1. Give each
student one piece of manila or white construction paper cut in
half. Explain to the students that they will need a page for
each month of the story as well as the cover page. Show
students where the paper supply will be located. They need
to complete a page before taking more paper. Additionally,
each paper should have their name written on the back, clipped
at the end of the writing session, and stored for the next day.
for students how to make the illustration and write the first
sentence for their story.
students have completed all of the illustrations and sentences
for their books, bring students back to the meeting area.
This mini-lesson will focus on how to use scrap construction
paper to make the illustrations more interesting. If your
students have been involved in using a scissors to make shapes
or create projects without tracing, this will usually require
one mini-lesson. If not, create one page at a time over
the week modeling the process. Using scraps of
construction paper, ask students what can be made for the pages
in their seahorse books to make the art really "pop"
(we use this word in our classroom in many projects). List
ideas. Show students how to take a rectangle piece of
paper and make coral. Use a square, cut to make a circle,
and spiral for the shell. Make fan shapes and use crayons
to make other shells on the ocean floor. Use yellow scraps
to make the lantern fish bright. Use long, narrow strips
of green, cut in wavy ways for the sea grass. These are a
few of the creative embellishments my students made in their
House for Hermit Crab books.
Another great book to integrate with the Eric Carle books is
called, Is this a House for Hermit Crab? by Megan
The story begins when Hermit Crab outgrows the house on his
back. He begins to look for a new home and fids many
different forms of shelter along the shore. However, none
of these new homes will be suitable for Hermit Crab. Then,
a giant wave pulls him out to sea and puts him in the path a a
hungry fish. He escapes by going into an empty snail
shell. When the danger passes, he finds that this is a
great new home.
This book can be used as a compare and contrast activity.
For additional resources for this book, the TEACHER'S HELPER
published by the Education Center, June/July 2005, has
activities devoted to this story.
AND POEMS BOOKS
Mad Libs to the unit. I have "tweeked" the Mad
Libs activity to use with my first grade class. To prepare
for the lesson, use chart paper and a marker. Draw lines
on the chart paper for the nouns, adjectives, verbs, misc. in
columns. Write the suggested words from the Mad Libs book
under each column. After students are familiar with this
process, have them dictate words to complete each column.
This is a painless way to work with grammar, parts of speech,
etc. The book I use in this unit is pictured below.
Click on the cover to see what this book is all about.
for Shared and Guided Reading
and Mudge Series
Silly Summer Level 3
A Classroom Favorite...
Wonderful patterned language in this text as well as beautiful
illustrations supporting each page. Wonderful book to use
for writer's workshop to encourage children to write using their
BOOKS TO LINK WITH MATH
ACTIVITIES WITH THIS UNIT
Graph the Starfish - The starfish for this activity may be
ordered through Oriental Trading (www.orientaltrading.com) or
purchased at a party supply or craft store. I ordered a
box of the starfish then made a graph. This is a center
activity but for early kindergarten a small group guided
activity would work well. I put the starfish in a small
fishbowl. The graphing papers are in the paper basket at
the center. If you would like a copy of the starfish
graph, click on the starfish graphing link in the above
table. Students need to be able to sort, count, and
understand how to represent what they discovered in a graph.
Graph the Fish-I ordered different colored fish from
Oriental Trading company for this activity. Then, put the
fish in a fishbowl. Students had to take one handful of
fish (I used a small net for scooping fish from a pet store),
sort the fish by color, count, and graph the results. If
you have an Ellison machine at school, you can also make the
fish from different colors of construction paper. The
paper fish are more difficult for younger children to scoop and
manipulate than the foam cut fish.
Pictures from our June 2006 Beach Party Bash!
June, 2006 Pugsters
DID WE DANCE......
for the Beach Party
Beach Balls -
I ordered the small beach balls from Oriental Trading.
Each child received a beach ball and a permanent black
marker. On each beach ball I wrote the words, "First
Grade Was A Ball". The beach balls and markers were
then placed inside of the beach pails. Children blew up
their beach balls and had their classmates sign their names on
each beach ball. The beach balls were returned to the
beach pails to take home.
2. Beach Pails - Each child received a beach
pail. I had pink for girls and lime green for boys.
I was fortunate to have a parent purchase the pails at the
Dollar Store (thank you Mrs. Posillico). She wrote each
child's name on the pails. The pails were used to carry
all of their party and art materials home.
3. Summer Writing Journal- I copied a page from the
June, Teacher's Friend book for the cover of the journal.
This was glued on to a piece of construction paper. Inside
of the journal, I wrote a note about writing during the summer
and added a page of ideas or prompts. The journals were
stapled and placed inside of the beach pails.
4. Note pads, pencils, and sharpeners - In
each pail, I placed a summer theme pencil (flip flops) purchased
through Oriental Trading. I added some pencil topper
erasers and a pencil sharpener from the Dollar store. I
gave each child a note pad shaped like a flip-flop purchased
through Oriental Trading.
5. Sunglasses - The kids each received pair
of sunglasses. These were purchased through Oriental
Trading. My large sunglasses were a Dollar Store find.
6. Bubbles - I purchased the large bottles of
bubble blowing liquid at the dollar store along with small
bottles. I also found some interesting shapes and bubble
blowing toys at the Dollar Store. I usually save the large
bottles and make my own bubble liquid using glycerin.
7. Art - The kids carried home their ocean book,
crab paper plate art, and scuba diver inside of their beach
pails on the last day. All materials from the party
or that were created during our ocean theme fit inside of the
beach pails. Easy to take home on the bus.
8. Beach games - I purchased a small party favor
set of smiley face mazes at the Dollar Store. Each child
had one of these inside of their beach pail.
9. Ocean Black line book - I made a black-line book
for each student. The story was from the Poem in My Pocket
10. Ocean Name Plate - For their Ocean Learning
Log, I printed an ocean name plate called, "Learning is
Oceans of Fun". If you would like to print this name
plate, go to http://www.atozteacherstuff.com
Writer's Workshop Ideas
my classroom, we have a daily writer's workshop. In
addition to the other ideas listed on this web page, you may
want to include:
1. "I'm Driving To the Beach" - prompt.
Each student visualized and made a writing plan (drawing or
drawing/labeling) about driving to the beach. Using their
five senses, they included beach sights, sounds, etc. They
wrote about driving to the beach. I used a car die-cut,
took out the window, and pasted their school picture inside of
the window to make it look like they were driving to the
beach. I attached the car to the published writing
piece. The children had the opportunity to
"personalize" their car. This is Schuyler's car.
Beach - Acrostic Poem
- Using Microsoft Clip Art, I made an acrostic poem using the
words, B-E-A-C-H. We brainstormed words that began with
each letter relating to the beach. They wrote using their
own word choices or with support of the group minil-esson chart.
TO OTHER BEACH SITES
soon... but glad you visited to ride the wave with us.
First Grade Menu
Teachers web site is owned by B. Froehlich. All Rights
Reserved, 2006. If you borrow, please enjoy but credit
other web sites, graphics, and authors.
Graphics - D.J.Inkers
Spring and Summer Clip Art Smiles