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Tide Pool Activities for Kids

Ahh Sea Week. I look forward to this all year long. We dive head first into science and if I’m being totally honest, it’s AWESOME. I grew up here in Juneau and it’s by far one of my favorite memories of school, so I know that I need to make it just that great for my own students #nopressure

tide pool activities for kids

We begin our unit of study (FYI Sea Week is not actually a week, but more like a month sometimes!) by taking a field trip to our local salmon hatchery (DIPAC–Douglas Island Pink and Chum). This place is. the. coolest. We get to ride the “fancy bus” (a Greyline instead of a yellow school bus) and chat it up with Mr. Rich. He is THE best. Check out how he turns a student into a squid step by step as students identify the body parts of a mollusk. So fun. Isn’t it great when you take your class on a field trip and the speaker is super engaging, can talk to the kids at their vocabulary level and you can tell they really love kids?! If you have any sort of ocean center near where you live, I highly recommend adding it to your Sea Week.

 He also gives the class a little bit of a teaser and shows them some critters under the document camera and how you can hold them in the touch tanks. This is the point where I make my way away from the front to the side and start watching the kids…he holds a scallop up flat in the palm of his hand until…splirt! The front row usually gets squirted on. Love.

 These fantastic touch tanks have all kinds of fun animals to check out. And the main tank in the middle of the hatchery is incredibly beautiful.

A few days later, we make our way to a local beach (Lena Cove).  Of course, we are fortunate enough to live on the coast so this field trip is a luxury. If you don’t live on the coast, watching a movie about tide pools is a close second! Before we head to the beach, we made this anchor chart to review the rules when we travel to the beach as a large group.

tide pool activities for kids beach rules

And we could not have asked for a more beautiful day to enjoy the beach. Really, these kids are so lucky. Right as it was getting to be that time to go, I asked a few kiddos to stomp out letters and spell “Alaska” in the sand. Can you see it?

 All in all, a great couple of field trips. I am so fortunate to work in this beautiful town 🙂

When we returned to the classroom, we had a lot to draw from our field trip experiences. We were ready to really get goin in our science notebooks. Here’s a little peak at some of the fun we’ve been having!

tide pool activities for kids printables

You can see more of what’s included in Life in a Tide Pool here.

tide pool activities for kids science notebook printables

After reading A House for Hermit Crab, we make these fun little hermit crab crafts. You can check it out here.

So, that’s it! I hope you and your students enjoy your own Sea Week! Feel free to leave a comment or question below about Sea Week if you are looking for ideas or would like to share.


1 Comment

  1. May 23, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    hi Jen, I love your sea unit, I am working on plans to do "under the sea" for ESY this summer for K-1 students. You live in a beautiful place! we lived in Wrangell for 3 years and miss it soooo much, we are now in the Mat-Su Valley, it has a beauty also, but not the same. Paula

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