Professional Development

May 20, 2019

Simplify the End of Year and Explore the Ocean

Explore the ocean with these all about the ocean lesson plan ideas!

The end of the school year is near, and EVERYONE can feel it. Students are bouncing off the walls in anticipation for summer break, and teachers are so tired they’re hitting the sack at 8 p.m. How can you keep learning meaningful when your students are excited for summer break?

One of my favorite topics to cover with summer just around the corner is the ocean! You can integrate oceans into reading, writing, and science easily. I decided to put together some easy, engaging ideas and activities to help you teach all about the ocean. I hope it makes the end of the year a little less stressful.

Read Alouds

Using science read alouds helps you squeeze more science into your day! They also help your students get introduced to new vocabulary so they can use it successfully. I noticed it was also a great way to help my ELL students become familiar with a topic before we really dive into it.  Some great book options for teaching all about oceans are:

You can grab my mega list of science read alouds HERE to be set for the entire year. It’s totally FREE! This list of books covers just about all science topics for kindergarten through second grade.


My Ocean Unit: A Study of Ocean Animals and Their Habitat makes studying the ocean a breeze. Whether you are a kindergarten, first grade, second grade, or homeschool teacher, I think you’ll find this unit to be easy to implement in your classroom. It has a unit teaching plan to guide you through all of the activities and teaching posters with real photos to help teach your students about the habitat and over 10 animals. This ocean unit also has all of the graphic organizers you’ll need to introduce animals and the habitat and to anchor learning.

I also covered the sea turtle life cycle with a life cycle poster and a cut-and-paste activity.

This unit also has activities you can use in interactive science notebooks like flip books, pocket books, and sorting activities. Hands-on activities help reinforce learning and give me a chance to do quick checks for understanding.

Songs and Videos

I always love including real photos and videos whenever I teach something, if possible. It brings topics to life, especially in science! Here are some helpful, short YouTube videos for your students that cover sharks, sea turtles, and octopuses. (Remember to always preview anything you share with students to make sure it’s a good fit for your learners!)

The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna is one of my favorite books to read. This video put the book to a song, and it’s really good! It’s always a hit with students. You can find it on the SingAStory YouTube channel HERE for free.

StoryLine Online is a fun website that has celebrities reading books aloud. They have two ocean themed ones: Clark the Shark and The Rainbow Fish. These might be a fun way to engage students, integrate the ocean theme into reading.

And of course, playing Baby Shark is always a great reward for students! It’s also perfect for a quick brain break.

Writing Activities

If you hang around here often, you know I love integrating writing and crafts whenever I can! Purposeful crafting lets our little learners practice fine motor skills, show some creativity, and provides a new way for students to show me their learning. The Ocean Unit also has an octopus writing craftivity that my students always loved! I included some ocean writing templates as well.

You can also have students start with a blank booklet in writer’s workshop and write about what they have learned. Easy peasy!

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I hope you found a few new things to try out with your students while you’re teaching all about the ocean. Let me know if you have any questions or enjoyed any of these ideas!

Happy Teaching,


Mega Read Aloud List

Use this FREE mega list of science-related read alouds for kindergarten through second grade to help you teach science all year long! This list covers 39 science topics with 4+ book suggestions for each topic. Grab it today to be set for the entire year of science read alouds!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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