Sunday, May 3, 2015

Open House and Our Ocean Research Center

At my school Open House is a HUGE deal! Teachers and students go all out and completely transform their classrooms to celebrate the hard work and fun we have had all year long. In first grade we transformed our classroom into an Ocean Research Center. We have spent weeks learning all about the ocean and many ocean animals. We used our new knowledge and integrated art and writing in a variety of engaging projects. Check out our magical ocean wonderland below!

We called our room "Ocean Research Center" because we have spent weeks learning as much as we could about sea life. The children felt like research scientists and took our study very seriously!
This picture shows many of our "Have, Can, Are" charts. These charts are perfect for organizing information learned. The students can use the information to write informational pieces. The whale wonderings chart is another chart that helped us with our ocean research. At the beginning of our whale research, I asked each child to ask a question about whales that they would like answered during our study. We then read books, watched videos, and researched information on the internet. As we found answers to our questions, we recorded them on our whale chart. 
 This cute little crab project was inspired by this post. The students loved creating these little cuties out of actual shells.

We learned about sea turtles and created these adorable 3-dimensional sea turtles for our classroom. We also created divers, complete with student pictures attached.
After our study on whales the students created a diagram of a humpback whale. 

These cute little clownfish were a favorite project for my students. They were so interested in the little fish that are immune to sea anemone stings! We decided to hang the fish from the ceiling to complete the "Under the Sea" feel.
These pop-up aquariums were fun for the students to complete.
We couldn't leave all of the ocean fun to just informational stories. Our class read Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle and created these cute watercolor seahorses to celebrate the sweet story. We then compared the fictional elements with the events that occurred and compared them to the factual information we learned about seahorses.
Clownfish and Jellyfish
We have also completed a variety of writing pieces to go with our ocean study. Here is an example of a "How to Draw Ocean Animals" page my students completed. These activities have been great writing centers for my students. It not only teaches them how to draw the animal, but it provides them an opportunity to write about what they have learned. Each ocean animal comes with a fact page, word bank, and two versions of the draw and write page. Check them out here!

Check out the How to Draw  Humpback Whales Freebie here!

We had so much fun with our study and it made for a magical experience. It will be difficult to take down the ocean wonderland, but I know my students are excited to take their projects home to recreate the ocean in their own rooms! 

Happy Teaching!

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