Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Ocean Animals!

Getting in the swim of an ocean animals unit? Don't forget to include non-fiction books in your reading stack! There are many books with terrific pictures available at your library or bookstore. Don't let the volume of text get in the way of using books for reference - you may just share a picture or two to add some context to a story you are reading!

I have a Scholastic book that even the younger children love to pore over - "Seashore" by Sue Unstead. They are inspired to handle the book by the real sand in a pocket on the cover, but a lot of the vocabulary is unfamiliar ... so we read some sections, a little bit at a time and take picture walks through the rest. As you revisit a book like this, you may read more and more, as your child's interest and attention grows!

When it's time for a craft, make a jellyfish! Here's a simple one for younger children, similar to the crab in a previous post. Here's what you need:

One small paper plate
tissue paper
googly eyes

Fold paper plate in half and color to match the tissue paper - cut mini-streamers for tentacles and add eyes. Add something to hang it, like a length of yarn or a chenille stick - and you're done!

Another jellyfish that the children love to make incorporates a squishy center for tactile fun! I used hair gel, but warned about possible leaks, letting the "goo" out! If you have an idea for a filling, let me know! You'll need:

Purple construction paper
Sandwich-size ziploc bag
A squirt of hair gel (or another gelatinous substance)
Tissue paper (light purple would be great!)

Fold a piece of construction paper in half and trace or have children cut a half-circle shape through both. Cut a second, smaller half-circle, as shown in the photo. Take your sandwich bag and add a squirt of hair gel (I found some purple, inexpensive gel) and glitter. Seal the bag. Center this in the smaller half-circle and attach, using staples and/or glue to try and contain the gel in that "window." Add tissue paper tentacles and secure between layers of construction paper.

Let your children feel the squishiness and talk about the flourescence that the glitter represents. There are jellyfish that are luminescent - look it up in one of your non-fiction books! Have fun!

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