The website talks you through a range of activities:
- Imagine you’re at the beach and describe what you see and how you feel
- Watch a tropical reef live from a webcam
- Read about why the sea is a “Super Habitat”
- Learn some facts about Great White Sharks, Sea Otters, Leatherback Turtles and Humpback Wales in the “Wonderful Wildlife” section
- Learn about ways that you can help to protect the Ocean
Next, try this Octonauts quiz to see how much you know about creatures in the ocean.
After you’ve looked through the website and done all the activities, make a poster about one of the topics – whichever one you found most interesting!
FISH - SHAPES
Go to this website and print out some shapes templates. *If you don’t have a printer, put some plain white paper on the screen and you can trace around it.* Once you have a set of templates, you can use them to make shapes in different colours.
KS2 should also cut out some triangles – equilateral (all sides the same length), isosceles (pronounced eye-so-si-lees, two sides the same, one different), scalene (all sides are different).
Create fish by sticking different shapes together. As you make the fish, ask and answer questions about the different shapes:
- How many sides does this shape have?
- What is it called?
- What kind of triangle is this?
Materials required: two glasses, two raw eggs, water, a tablespoon of salt
Fill your sink or a bucket with water. Make a chart, like the one in the video, and experiment to see what sinks and what floats. As you do this, ask about the density of the object:
- Does this mean that the object is more or less dense than the water? (If it sinks, it is more dense. If it floats, it is less dense.)
- If the metal spoon sank but the plastic spoon floated, what can you tell me about the plastic spoon? (it’s less dense than the metal spoon)
Now we’re going to do an experiment with salt water. Go to this website which gives you instructions on how to do the experiment.
As you’re doing the experiment, talk about the eggs in each glass. Ask and answer questions, remembering the video at each step, and give prompts to help your child work out what is going on:
- Can you remember the video? Why did the metal spoon sink? (because it’s more dense than the water)
- Look at the egg in normal water. Why has it sunk?
(because it’s more dense than the water)
- Look at the egg in the salt water. Why is it floating?
(because it’s less dense than the water)
- The two eggs are exactly the same so what has changed? What can you tell me about the salt water, compared to the normal water?
(the salt water must be more dense/have a higher density – it must be more dense than the egg)
- Why might the salt water have a higher density than the normal water?
(because of all the salt particles that have mixed with the water particles!)
First, make an upcycled octopus, following this website for instructions. Then watch the video below to find out about octopus to find out what they’re like and to generate ideas for a story.
Materials required: toilet roll, coloured paper or paint, glue, scissors
After watching, ask these questions to see how much you remember:
- Are octopuses’ brains big or small?
- How many arms do they have?
- What do they have on their arms which help them lift things?
- Do octopuses have a skeleton?
- What happens if an octopus loses an arm?
- What sorts of tools do octopuses sometimes use to make a shelter?
- What does camouflage mean? In what ways can an octopus camouflage itself?
Now think about the life of an octopus:
- How do you think it feels to be an octopus?
- What might an octopus be scared of?
- What might make an octopus happy?
Either help your child to write a story about an octopus (KS1) or get your child to write it themself (KS2). After you’ve written the story, act it out using your model octopus.
MAKE AN OCEAN IN A BOTTLE!
Materials required: a clear plastic bottle, some water, blue food colouring, vegetable oil, small plastic toys
Follow this National Geographic guide to make your very own ocean!
As you’re adding the oil to your water, remember the float and sink experiment that you did. Ask your child:
- What’s happening to the oil? Is it floating or sinking?
(it’s floating on top of the water)
- So, is it more dense than the water, or less dense?
(it’s less dense)
Materials required: slabs of ice (see below for how to make these easily!), salt, food colouring
To prepare, you’ll need to make slabs of ice. You can do this by putting water in Tupperware and leaving it in the freezer, or using a bowl or a tray.
Next, go to this website and follow the instructions.
As you’re making the art, talk to your child about ice:
- What is ice made of?
- What temperature does water have to be at to turn to ice?
( 0°C degrees centigrade)
- Look at the salt, what’s it doing to the ice?
(it’s making it melt more quickly)
Explain that sea water (or salt water) needs to be colder than normal water for it to freeze. The freezing point of sea water is about -2° C!
After you watch, help your child to develop literacy skills by asking these sorts of questions:
- Describe one of the animals in detail – what does it look like? How does it move?
- What do you think would happen if…? (e.g. what do you think the octopus would do if a shark came?)
- How would you feel if you saw a…?
For further reading on how you can develop literacy skills through watching wildlife documentaries, have a look at this article.
KS2 extension – get your child to take notes while they are watching the documentary
WHAT HAVE I LEARNT
- Things I know about the ocean
- My favourite ‘Under the Sea’ activity and why
- What do I want to learn next?
Help your child to write something in each one, or let them fill them in and reflect on their learning.