Prior to activity display pictures of jellyfish and talk about how the jellyfish looks like a blob in the water and has a jelly like appearance.  Talk about tentacles.  For the activity, cut paper plates in half. Children can paint the plate and then glue on streamers to make tentacles.  On the back of the plate, children can glue bubble wrap to give the jelly-like appearance. . 
Paper Plate Jellyfish
Rainbow Fish
Read the stories of the Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.  Bring in some frozen fish for the children to look at (or real fish in a bowl if you can) and talk about the beautiful shiny scales and the parts of the fish's body. As an extension provide fish shapes for children to paint as their own "Rainbow Fish".  To create the scales provide sequins in varied colours for the children to glue on with strong glue.
Under the Sea Display Board
Photocopy and cut out sea creatures.  We painted these with water-based palette paints.  You can have the children paint over them with glitter paints to give a shimmery effect. Pin them onto a blue background, and use crepe paper to create coral, seaweed and sand dunes.
Sea Collage
Have children paint a sheet of paper in blue and green paint.  Encourage the children to cover the sheet completely.  When the paint is dry provide a range of sea themed pictures which can be cut from magazines and wraping paper (good idea for an adult to start preparing these weeks before they are needed to ensure enough pictures are available.)  Fish, boats, shells, people swimming etc look very effective on the coloured background.
Other Ideas

Gluing with sand and shells on card

If you can collect a bucket of shells and rake them through your sand box, children will enjoy finding them.

Set up towels, buckets and spades, beach umbrella and other beach items so children can role play going to the beach.

Set up a water trolley outdoors and colour the water with blue edicol dye.  Put sand and shells into the water and provide plastic sea creatures for children to play with.

A Sea themed felt board with felt sea creatures
Ocean Felt Board
Rainbow Fish
Under the Sea Display Board
Ocean Window Scene
Under the Sea painted on a window
Sea Collage
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Portfolio Activity
Miss G`s Aussie Kindergarten
Miss G's Aussie Kindergarten
Portfolio Activity
Portfolio Activity
Ocean Crayon Resist Painting
Crayon Resist Drawings
Provide oil pastel crayons for students to draw an underwater scene (prior to the activity discuss what they might see underwater).  When the drawings under done, brush over them with blue and green water colour paint for a watery effect.  The crayons will resist the paint!
Portfolio Activity
Ocean Canvas Painting
Canvas Painting
This was done with a small group of students (you'd have to do more than 1 for a large group).  We purchased a large canvas.  I then traced on different fish shapes in pencil.  The background ocean color was then painted on (acrylic). Each student then chose a fish to paint (using acrylics).  When all the fish were painted, we outlined them in black paint to help them stand out.  Finally, we "dot painted" some bubbles to create motion in the water.  We titled this project "School of Fish".  The painting was actually auctioned at a school fundraising even for purchase by the highest bidding parent!  The group that did was my grade 1-3 class.
Flying Fish Display Board
Foil Fish
Foil Fish
This is tricky for little ones so if you are planning to do it with a kindergarten group, supervision and guidance is helpful.  Firstly prepare sheets of foil.  Trace on fish shapes on the shiny side of the foil in black permanent marker.  The students then color in the fish using colored permanent markers.  The foil causes the marker to be very bright as you can tell from the picture.  We used Sharpie brand markers which were very vibrant.  The tricky part is being gentle with coloring as the foil can be a bit fragile and tear.  The last part is cutting out the fish and this should be done by an adult as its too difficult for children to do without tearing the foil.  To create a scaly effect, place the fish on top of a netting bag (the type you get onions in) and rub gently.

Foil Fish Display Board
To create the display board, we measured a white piece of paper on our bulletin board.  We gave this to the students to sponge with shades of blue (acrylic paint) to create the sky.  Next we measured another piece of paper and cut it into a wave shape.  This was given to the students to paint with metallic water color paints, which gave the water a shine.  I then created waves using dark blue acrylic.  Finally the fish were stuck on using straight pins, but they were not pushed onto the paper.  Rather, we had the fish being help away from the paper by the pin to create a 3D movement effect.
Ocean Display Board
Ocean Display Board
With the students, we went through National Geographic magazines looking for interesting ocean pictures.   When all the pictures were found, we looked at them as a group and discussed.  The pictures were then put together to make a collage on our bulletin board.
TIP - If you are cutting out magazine pictures yourself for discussion or display later, cut out the description of the picture and glue it on the back so you can remember what the picture is about, especially if its something unique that you are not likely to remember.  Alternatively, write a description onto the back of the picture.  Believe me, this comes in handy down the road!
Ocean Display Board
Ocean Display Board 2
To create this, I firstly covered the board with white paper.  I then layered blue cellophane over the top.  Next, I cut out more blue pieces of cellophane in wave shapes and layered those on.  While the students were busy painting their fish using acrylics, I cut out a sandbar for the bottom of the ocean.  As students finished, they came and sponged the sandbar using various shades of yellow acrylic paint.  I then used crepe streamers to create the seaweed.  The students also created starfish which we attached.  The scallop shells were precut shapes I found at Dollarama.  As we had read "The Rainbow Fish", the students glued rhinestones that I bought at Dollarama on their fish as shiny scales

Ocean Foil Drawings
Foil Drawings
This uses the same concept as the foil fish - drawing on foil with permanent marker.  This time, I created the frames out of black card and then taped foil sheets to the back to give the foil more stability and to create the drawing space.  Before the activity, we looked at pictures of the ocean and had a discussion about what we could expect to see in a real ocean.  The students then drew their designs using Sharpie permanent markers.
Ocean Animal Sort
Animal Sort
We had done lots of work learning about the groups of animals in the ocean and their classification.  For this activity, I divided a variety of sea animal toys and shells amongst my students.  We then took turns putting the animals into the correct group.  The groups we used were Birds, Mollusc, Fish, Mammals, Invertebrates, Reptiles,  Crustaceans.  This was done with a grade 1-3 group.  With younger students you could create simpler groups
Food Chain Fish
We had been talking about ocean food chains which led us to creating our own food chain.  Firstly cut a triangle out of paper plate and staple it to the plate to create a tail.  You will now also be left with an "open mouth" for the fish.  We took the edges of paper plates and cut them to create fins which were stapled on.  The fish was then colored.  Next we drew and cut out tiny fish which we taped inside the big fish's mouth with a string.  Older children can do almost all of this activity on their own.
Ocean Activity
Exciting Extras
Tray set up with water and a variety of materials such as shells, ocean plant and animal toys, sand dollars, toy divers etc
Ocean Mobile
Ocean Mobile
Fish mobiles I found at the dollar store for a
dollar!  I brought several and hung them from the ceiling.
Ocean Themed Materials
Fish shaped dishes (also dollar store purchase) which were used to hold our shells and sea toys/objects
Ocean Display Table
Display table of interesting items such as shells, ships (my husband's) and some really cool dollar store ornaments that I found (fish, turtles and octopi)
Portfolio Activity
Portfolio Activity
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This page was last updated on: April 12, 2011