Sea Life Day Three: Sharks

I have never been one to partake in Shark week, I am not big on marine life trivia, and I’m not big on watching animals in nature on my television.  There is just something offsetting with that setup.  That being said this was not the first time that B and I had partaken in a Shark week of our own, though it had been a couple of years.   This lesson may have come in second on his scale of favorites for this unit, that is to the almighty lesson on killer whales.


  • Practice comparison and contrast and paying attention to detail.
  • Identify a Varying Number of Shark Breeds
  • Study the anatomy of sharks
  • Understand and explore the concept of buoyancy

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The Lesson Plan

After our circle time songs I pulled out the Book Amazing Giant Sea Creatures, and we first read over the descriptors for the Shark.

  • What do they eat?
  • What is unique about their design?
  • Where can they be found?
  • How many species?


Our first focus was, “how do sharks swim?”  I found it strange there were so many questions on the shark’s ability as opposed to other breeds, but I just followed where the lessons lead me.

We filled up two balloons, one with oil, and one with water.  The instructions online said to assure that there was no air let into either, which I did.

I had the kids compare the feel of the two.  How heavy were they, how did they feel when you gave them a light squeeze?  What were the differences felt between the two?

Which will sink, and which will float?  We then dropped them into a large glass mixing bowl full of water.  The results were supposed to be that the oil floats while the water sinks. It sort of happened this way, just not quite enough of a difference I believe for the younger kids to understand.

Next, I pulled out a series of colored pictures I had found two great free printouts of the various shark breeds with their correlating photos, the others of various facts and descriptors of these shark breeds. Underneath each in bold print was the caption of their species.  We discussed in detail the differences between the breeds.  Then together we cut out the sharks and their species name and took turns gluing the text to the back of the photos.

Game Time For B & A

  1. I laid out the sharks pictures and began to list off types of sharks, along with the list of 5 to 6 descriptors.
  2. From the descriptors, they had to take turns to point at the photo of the shark that they thought was the species I was describing.
  3. When the card was flipped over they would read aloud the species name glued to the back, was this the same?
  4. If so they were able to keep the card if not they had to flip the card back photo-side up and keep fishing.
  5. We took turns until all the sharks had been removed from the board.   This game was a hit!  After the first round, the kids wanted to play two more times.

Next was independent time:

  1. For B (2nd Grade) I handed out a Shark anatomy worksheet.  The repetition of this type of worksheet each day in this unit gave B the practice of only having to familiarize himself with the anatomy and not the expectations of the exercise.  His ability to complete the task with ease really upped his confidence and enhanced his willingness to learn.
  2. For A & K (Preschool & 2) I had found a tiny hands book print out.  A & K colored it and turned it into a small book that they then handled and read.  It provided a great review of different types of sea life.

Feature Presentation: despite B’s urges for Jaws, after witnessing the great marvel at Universal the weekend before we watched Shark Tale.

The Results

After the science experiment flopped that day, I spent the time during the movie to try to refill the balloons again and again with oil and water.  I really could not find any air in either but the one with water still never fully sank.  Despite the botched experiment, the kids benefited from a discussion on buoyancy, and they all fully enjoyed the memory style shark game!

To Which I Owe My Inspirations:


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