Ocean Unit
This multisensory integrated unit was completed over ten days with a pre kindergarten class of 12 students.

Ocean Unit Organizer

Oral Language & Listening
  • Show video, Deep Sea Dive by The National Geographic Society
  • Have children lie on their stomachs and pretend to be scuba divers. Let them wiggle their arms and legs as if they were going through the water. Narrate their journey and call out which animals they see during their trip.

Music & Movement
  • See songs below. 
  • Challenge students to come up with other ocean rhymes for “Down by the Bay.”

  • Sea shell collection in science center
  • Wave bottles.  Fill a plastic bottle half full with water, then fill the rest of the way with baby oil.  Next, add a few drops of blue food coloring. Watch the blue as it drops through the oil and "explodes" into the water. Add plastic "fish" (sequins) and make waves by turning the bottle sideways and rocking it gently.
  • Sand and water bottle – watch what happens to the sand as you turn the bottle upside down.
  • Chart animals by habitat using pictures of each (e.g. – land, air, water, more than one).
  • Ocean animal names.  Use toy ocean animals (e.g. – shark, whale, orca, walrus, dolphin, seal, and octopus).  Students close eyes, remove one animal.  Students determine which is missing and name it.
  • Name the oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic) and show on a map or globe.

 Gross Motor
  • Children crawl like a crab from one point to another. Next, they figure out a way to carry a bean bag while crawling like a crab.
  • Race as different ocean and beach animals.  

  • Fish Bingo - write a numeral on each fish on the bingo board and make a copy for each child. Children will roll a die, find that numeral on their sheet, and color it.
  • Beach Grid Game - children roll a die, count the dots and count out that amount of shells. Each shell is placed over one picture in the grid, starting at the upper left corner. Children play until the whole grid is full. Students must start at the top of the grid and follow left to right directionality.

 Shared Writing
  • List ocean vocabulary (e.g. – animals, oceans, waves, beach, sand, seaweed, etc.)
  • Write repetitive sentences.  “A _____ lives in the ocean.”  Have students help determine spellings of names by sounding out.
Independent Writing
  • Draw the ocean animal you would most want to be.  Dictate or write why.
  • After reading Herman the Helper, draw a picture of you helping someone.  Dictate or write who you are helping and how.

 Fine Motor
  • Children used seashells in the play dough area to press into the play dough to make prints. You can do the same activity using self-hardening clay and the children can keep them.
  • Our "ocean" is a blue carpet. Paper fish have upper and lower case letters on them, with a paperclip attached, and are tossed onto the "ocean". Children catch a fish with magnetic fishing pole and identify the letter.  Extend by also naming letter sound and words with that initial sound.

  • Children draw an ocean scene or an ocean animal with crayons. Then paint over the whole paper with blue watercolor paint to create the water. The wax resists the water, so the picture shows through the paint.
  • Octopus – Students paint paper plate with 8 sections for tentacles and a slit in the middle.  Blow up a balloon and draw a face with permanent marker.  Insert balloon end into slit.

Herman the Helper by Robert Kraus
Under the Sea: Pebble Plus Series
Under the Sea: Ladders Series
Look Who Lives in the Ocean by Alan Baker
Sharks and other Sea Creatures
Dictionary: An A to Z of Sea Life
Diving Dolphin by Karen Wallace
The Blue Whale by Christine Corning Malloy
Whales: A First Discovery Book
The Underwater Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
The Deep Blue Sea and Ten Little Fish
by Audrey and Bruce Wood
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
Mr. Sun and Mr. Sea: African Legend by Andrea Butler
 Circle Activities
  • Talk about whales and discuss how big they are. Discuss that they are mammals and not fish.
  • Draw a life-size blue whale (can be up to 100 feet long) on the parking lot outside. Let children stand inside the whale drawing and experience how big whales are. Ask the question: “How many more children would fit inside this whale?”

 Health & Safety
  • Discuss water safety, not swimming alone, life jackets in boats.  Get life jackets for dramatic play area if possible.


Songs, Rhymes, and Finger plays

Down by the Bay (ocean animals version)
Down by the bay,
Where the watermelons grow.
Back to my home I dare not go.
For if I do my mother will say,
Did you ever see a whale with a polka dot tail
Down by the bay?

Continue with:
Did you ever see a shark swimming in the dark?
Did you ever see a fish eating from a dish?

5 Little Fish
Five little fish swimming in the sea,  (put hands together, extend arms, and wiggle to and fro)
Teasing Mr. Shark, you can’t catch me, you can’t catch me.  (put hands by ears and wiggle fingers)
Along comes Mr. Shark hungry as can be,  (make a fin with hands on your back)
And caught a fish as you can see.  (extend arms in front of you and snap closed)

Continue with:
4 little fish …
3 little fish…
2 little fish…
1 little fish…

No more fish swimming in the sea,
Mr. Shark has left, where could he be?

Five Little Seashells
Five little seashells lying on the shore,  (hold up five fingers)
Swish came the waves, and then there were four.  (bend down one finger)
Four little seashells, cozy as could be,
Swish came the waves, and then there were three.  (bend down one finger)
Three little seashells, all pearly new,
Swish came the waves, and then there were two. (bend down one finger)
Two little seashells, sleeping in the sun,
Swish came the waves, and then there was one. (bend down one finger)
One little seashell left all alone,
Swish came the waves, and then there were none. (bend down last finger)


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