You're all set for the ocean unit study, but need to know the nitty gritty details. Here are the vocabulary, writing, and geography portions of this unit study. Learn an easy and fun way to do map work and vocabulary. Plus, writing prompts!
Let's jump right to it.
- abyssal plain
- continental shelf
- continental crust
- continental drift
- continental slope
- coral reef
- deep sea trench
- dorsal fin
- jelly fish
- mid-ocean ridge
- oceanic crust
- pectoral fins
- sea mountains (seamounts)
- sea star
- tide pool
Add words as you come upon them and you'd like to add them to your list. Also, remove words that you don't need or want to cover.
How to learn vocabulary
Our kids fill this Vocabulary Word Map for each word. You can create a word search puzzle as well for a fun review and recognizing the new words. A fun addition to this puzzle would be to make the word clues the definitions of each vocabulary word.
For the ocean vocabulary, we didn't do the antonyms and synonyms in the word maps.
We're just covering a few terms a day, and some days more than others.
Here's some prompts to get the brain juices flowing (gross).
- Write a story about your new pet (you can see this in the Ocean Unit Study main post)
- Write a letter to an organization that works with the ocean or sea life
- Write a magazine article about an important issue with the ocean/sea life
- Write a magazine article about your favorite marine animal
- Write a research paper
- Write a poem about the ocean
- Write a story for a young sibling/child
- Write an email to your grandparents about all you've learned
- Write a newsletter to your family about all the things you've done and learned
Just so you know, we will NOT be doing all of these writing assignments. For now, we're doing the pet story, and the research paper. After that, I will let each child pick one more writing assignment. But really, that's only if we haven't petered out and decided we were done with the unit study.
Pick and choose, but make sure you do at least one writing assignment. Writing is such an important skill to learn and it's not too early to start.
If you think of a different writing assignment, go for it! These are just to get your brain thinking. I'm sure you can come up with even better ones. Please share them in the comments! For reals.
Here are the oceans, seas, and major rivers we're learning
- Hwang ho
How we study geography
Head over to our world map and identify the oceans. Then the seas. Then the rivers-- this is easier with a world atlas (which we are in great need of-- here we come Amazon).
We also look at these with our globe... Or would have, if Teddy Bear (almost 2) hadn't decided to throw it down the stairs because he thought it was a ball. Now it's dead. But we do have an inflatable globe that works in a pinch.
Just keeping it real.
After that we use this technique that I learned from Jessica Hulcy a few years back.
Index card map work
1. Grab an index card for each continent and ocean.
2. Have the kids draw an outline of the continent on an index card. Then, write the name in the middle. Do this for all 7.
3. Write the name of each ocean on an index card. You may need two for a few of the oceans (i.e. the Pacific).
4. Place the index cards on a table, or floor. Arrange them to show where they are in relation to one another.
5. Pick them up and place them down again, talking through it. Scramble them up, do it a few more times.
6. Have your children take turns doing it on their own, prompting ONLY when they get stuck. Encourage them to place them as best they can before asking for help.
When they get it wrong I pull the index cards that are placed incorrectly and have them work through it. If a ton are wrong, I'll scramble them all up and go through it again with them.
7. Do this until you feel they've got a handle on it.
You will also do the same thing for the various seas. Add the seas in AFTER they have the oceans and continents mastered. You may want to cut each index card in half to show the size.
Now, pick up all the index cards, arrange the continents, the oceans, and then the seas.
Follow the same procedure done for the oceans.
[wc_box color="secondary" text_align="left"]
Here's Animal, 6 (on the left), Little Miss, 8 (middle), and Captain, 9 (on the right). As you can see Animal is super excited, Little Miss has watched her fair share of YouTube tutorial videos. I could barely keep the laughter in, so please forgive any shaking of the camera. :)
For the rivers you can draw them on the index cards where they are on each continent.
Draw the river on blue construction paper, label it, and then place them on the continent index card. This way, you can also remember the shape and location. If you draw them on, it may not be remembered as well.
This is seriously the best way to remember the locations and relationships between locations.
We did this when we learned the 13 colonies and when we studied explorers. My kids learned it so fast. On top of that, I learned them and where they all are in relation to each other. I think that's my favorite part-- not just knowing what the state or country looks like, but where it is in relation to other locations.
We're going to re-do our index card mapping later this week, or next. We're going to put our continents on a bigger piece of paper and trace the continent from a printed map.
Why not just print them out? Well, it helps the kids learn the shape of the continent better and understand where things are in relation to each bump and point on the outline.
Then we'll cut out the seas into smaller pieces so they're easier to fit in where they belong. We haven't done the rivers yet, but now they'll fit even better on our bigger continent pieces.
When we get the new set done, I'll update this post.
More ocean unit study goodness to come
Now you're ready to go with your vocabulary, geography, and writing portions of the ocean unit study. Stay tuned for the next sections!
We've got ASL, art, science, math, and a final project still to go.