June celebrates World Reef Awareness. Although coral reefs only currently cover less than 1% of the ocean, they are home to 25% of all known marine species. If you are looking for a fun and engaging lesson for your students, consider these activities to help them practice their skills while they learn about coral reefs and the marine life that depends on them:
Coral Reef Play Dough Mat
This Simple Everyday Mom has a free printable that can be printed, laminated, and used to create magnificent play dough creations! However, there is more than one way to use this printable. If you do not have play dough on hand, or want a less messy activity, you can print and cut out the sea creatures and have the students glue them on their coral reef background.
Take a Virtual Field Trip
There is no need to leave the classroom for this field trip! There are many aquariums out there that offer virtual field trips where they give you access to their underwater webcams that watch over their ocean tanks. For a few options, you can visit the Georgia Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium or the National Aquarium all for free! Students can enjoy real footage of the fish in the aquariums while they learn about them.
Clay Sea Rocks
This is an art project paired with a science lesson by K6Art. You only need a few things that you likely already have around the house. For older students, they can design their sea rocks and then paint them once they have dried. For younger students that cannot use the tools or work with clay, the teacher can design the rocks and the students can simply paint them. The only downside is that they take 12 days to dry before they can be painted. While students wait for their projects to dry, the website has an engaging science lesson to go along with it.
Under the Sea Graham Crackers
Here is a fun snack recipe by The First Year Blog to go along with the activities. All you need are graham crackers, goldfish crackers, sprinkles, and blue frosting. Students can decorate their graham crackers to look like fish swimming under the sea. If this is too much, surely something as simple as goldfish crackers will do the trick!
Need a math lesson for the young ones that will keep them entertained? Try this activity by Playdough to Plato that is perfect for ages 3 to 5. It allows you to practice counting with your students by using finger paints and then drawing their fingerprints into fish for them to count. If you do not have paint on hand, you can achieve the same idea with washable markers or crayons, and have the kids color their fish.
Color Sorting Game
This is a free printable game by Hunny I’m Home DIY that allows students to practice their color sorting. They can “feed the shark” by sorting their colored fish to their matching colored sharks. All you need is card stock, scissors, glue (hot glue gun works best), toilet paper tubes cut in half, and the printables! It is a really simple activity but it is much more fun being shark themed!
One Fish, Two Fish Printables
These free printables by 123 Homeschool 4 Me can be used in many different ways. The best part is that they can be paired with a snack using goldfish crackers! Students can practice sorting, sequencing, and counting with this activity, making it the perfect math lesson for the young ones!
The best thing about these activities is that they can all be paired with a lesson about coral reefs and the marine life that surrounds them. Students can learn, practice their skills, and have fun at the same time! After all, who doesn’t want to learn about sharks and turtles?