Would you like a deep sea creature themed classroom or homeschool room? Thematic units can bring students into a total immersion with a loved subject! I have always loved teaching thematic unit studies incorporating the other core subjects. A study of the deep sea, with all its current research, can be an opportunity for you to study it across the curriculum.
6 Tips for a Thematic Deep Sea Unit Study
- Arts & Crafts – Have an ugliest and cutest deep sea creature contest. Include picture masks of learners chosen creature either drawn or printing photos off from online to make their masks. Students can optionally create full or partial costumes to go with their masks.
- Language arts – Have students write stories about their scariest or cutest deep sea creature of choice. Stories can be fictional or non-fictional. Students can read their stories aloud at home or in school.
- Math – Students can select any number of deep sea creatures ranging from 2 – 10 and compare body lengths, teeth size, weights etc. Create a poster board of drawings or photographs with the aforementioned math facts written near the creatures. Students can create math story problems from these posters.
- History – study the history of deep sea exploration. A great place to start is with NOAA’s historical oceanic exploration timeline here. BoaterExam.com also has a nice timeline with great images including old time deep sea submersibles.
- Geography Research Project – Students can study NOAA’s Digital Atlas of exploration here. Have students select 1 or more places of study and do in-depth research about NOAA’s work in these regions of the world. Click on a circle on the map and a box will jump up. Each box has in-eth research with links leading to more research about each expedition. Students can do ability appropriate research.
- Use my Dramatic Deep Sea Creatures course curriculum to guide you along and incorporate the above-suggested activities in the study.
When I began writing my 8-lesson mini-course, Dramatic Deep Sea Creatures, I had no idea about the amazing advancements in science and discoveries in the oceanic depths that have occurred just in the last decade. To my delight, this was quite a time to be writing a cutting-edge deep sea creatures course! This unit study can be a large supplement to your total deep-sea immersion thematic study. It can also be a high school elective. The choices are endless on what can be done with this mini-course.
The course is written at a middle, high school level, but students of all ages, including adults can appreciate the content.
The two top organizations which I used in my course research, that are performing cutting-edge deep sea research are NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Nautilus Live with Dr. Robert Ballard and Corps of Exploration. Between these two organizations, I was able to find out some astonishing things about the deep sea creatures featured in my course and their black environment.
I had thought the scare element at the appearance of some of these creatures would surely draw the homeschoolers out to my online course, and well it did. We had a boon enrollment of 20 families with some extraordinary student bloggers, I might add!
Some Adorable and Formidable Deep Sea Creatures We Study in the Course
The Vampire squid is known for its ability to turn itself inside-out, thus revealing an umbrella-like inside also compared to a vampire’s cape. It also is covered in light organs called photophores. Have a look at the image below to see what I mean!
A Vampire squid showing off its photophores. Image credit: Lauren2
The Dumbo octopi, some of the cutest deep sea creatures of the oceans, include a species which may have the latin name assigned, Opisthotheusis Adorabilis. Now just how cute is that?
Here’s a free Dumbo octopus coloring page and facts printable!
Here are two more formidable, yet fascinating deep-sea creatures we learn about in the Dramatic Deep Sea Creatures 8-lesson mini course.
Fangtooth fish, have the largest teeth in proportion to their body size in the world. Their unique skull structure accommodates sockets to house the fangs when their mouths are closed. Just look at those teeth!
The Frilled shark gives us quite a thrill when viewed both in pictures and especially in real life! See it in action from the video below!
In closing, consider what it would be like for you and your home or school students to do a deep sea creature thematic study.
I’d love to hear your feedback if you try any of these projects and activities either at home or in school. Please share them below in the comments section! Until next time, ahoy, deep sea explorers!