Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Marine Life & Ocean Unit Study

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Ahhh, I can almost feel the refreshing salty air breeze...  

For our last month of school, we are going to do a Unit Study that will help take our minds off the dry desert weather. We're headed to Florida soon, back home to visit family and make some memories.  Since we are all getting anxious for our trip, I figured we could pass time quickly by diving into a HUGE Marine & Ocean Unit Study.

Preparing for this one has my old memories popping up. I once spent a summer camp exploring tide pools and marshes in the panhandle and it was the best time ever. We waded in the shallow water collecting water samples to test, explored water plants necessary for the habitat, and discovered so many little creatures. In high school, I chose a year long Marine Biology science class that turned out to be my favorite kind of science! Can you tell how this topic excites me?! 

This Unit Study collection will encompass all of my children's levels (3rd-9th). I think Units like this are easy to plan for multiple ages because they really are an a la carte of learning.  

Two Ways to do this Study: 

1) Piece together books and activities that you can do when you or your child want. 
2) Plan, Purchase, or Download a step by step guide for your unit. We decided the FREE Marine Biology Unit Study from The Good & The Beautiful would fit our needs, and it allows wiggle room to add or subtract things. 

*All unit studies could be prepared either way. Scroll down if you'd like information on where to buy Unit Study Guides. 

Focus Areas Let's be honest...the Ocean is a vast and complex system with thousands of living organisms. If you have younger children, they may not be ready to learn about currents, riptides, the abyss or the scary creatures that lurk there. Or your older children may not want to color sea-life pages and call it a day. You have the freedom to narrow this unit down to key sections such as the shorelines & beaches, tide pools, ocean animals, submarines, or ocean weather.  Our Focus Areas will include Sea-life, Tide Pools, Marshes, all of the Oceans, oceanic careers, and Reefs. Some will go into more depth while others will be a light covering. The reason I chose this many was to include all of the kids as well as get them prepared for things they will see on our trip!

Gathering Materials! 

 This is my favorite  Amazon, Michaels, Joann's, and the Dollar Tree really helped pull this together. Sure we have loads of books, but Ocean themed games, activities, and projects will make this unit memorable!  Scroll below to see what we collected.. 


Marine Science for Kids
The Complete Aquarium Adventure
Coral Reefs
Shimmer & Splash

Island of the Galapagos
Sharks & Other Deadly Ocean Creatures
Oceans & Seas
Marshes & Swamps
A Day in the Salt Marsh
Sea Turtles
Explore Earths Five Oceans
Explore Australia & Oceania
Teach Yourself to Draw Sea Life
Seashells, Crabs, & Sea Stars
Coral Reefs
Merlin Missions: Shadow of the Shark 
Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor
Marine Biologist
Why is the Sea Salty?
Eyewitness Fish
Eyewitness Ocean 
Science Comics Coral Reefs
How to Draw Incredible Sharks
Ocean Renegades
Ocean The Definitive Visual Guide
MTH: Dolphins at Daybreak 
The Beachcombers Companion
Who Was Jacques Cousteau?
Where is The Great Barrier Reef?
Where is The Bermuda Triangle?
Field Guides: Saltwater Fish, Shells, Seashores
Adventure Beneath The Sea
Amazing World of Sea Creatures (Glow in the Dark Animals)
Magazine: Science World Orcas in Danger


Popular Mechanics for Kids
BBC Blue Planet (online)
Life in a Tide Pool (Amazon)
Chasing Coral (Netflix) 
Jacques Cousteau's Legacy 



Sand (Kinetic or Real) 
Sea Molds 


Layers of the Ocean - We purchased 5 bottles from Michaels to create the layers. 
Wave Pool- You just need a clear bin, some sand, water, and food coloring! 
Coral Reef Diorama- Pompoms, colored clay, pipe cleaners, beads, Construction paper, paint, felt, & glue. (This idea came from Pinterest)
Tide Pool - Tin foil pan, shells, sand, and starfish toys. 
Ocean Pollution Activity- Clear Bin, Sea Toys, Boat, coffee grinds or cocoa powder & vegetable oil mix. 
Submarine Diving- KidzLabs Diving Submarine, Baking Soda, Water, Clear Bin

Identifying Tide Pool Specimens- I found a wood jewelry tray from Michaels, and some tide pool & coral samples from that fit nicely in the sections. 

Printable Resources & Websites:

Coral Worksheets-
Worksheets & Activity 
Marine Biology Unit Study- 
Other Unit Study Guides- 

Website for Ocean Fun-

For More Books & Activity Ideas, Check out My

So that's our Unit Study in a Nutshell. Eventually I had to talk myself out of buying more. We are truly blessed with what we have, but sometimes we are really passionate about certain topics.  If you like this blog post, please share or pin it for later! For more pictures of our progress, check us out on Instagram @WeWouldRatherBeReading !! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April Morning Basket ~ Spring Has Sprung!

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While the rest of America is figuring out what season it is, Arizona has finally settled on Spring. So we are taking advantage of the short lived season here and spending much needed time outside! 

This gorgeous weather has influenced a little gardening lesson. Now..first let me tell you...I have very low hope that anything will maintain here. Unless it's a succulent, it won't last. We've tried. 
Let's just say this lesson is a good refresher for us, gets our hands in the dirt (real dirt), and teaches the kids about seed germination and growth. That's enough for us until we find ourselves in a more fertile environment. 😊

April's Basket is a combination of Gardening and Easter. We are combining the two as part of a small Morning Basket. Peter Rabbit loved veggies and so do my kids. They just goes hand in hand. 
I was also inspired to make Vegetable Fact Cards, a Vegetable Anatomy Sheet, and Gardening Activity to just enhance the lesson and offer up a few more facts. Those are available in my etsy shop!

I do want to say, this basket is for a minimalist. I did NOT add Easter Basket fillers to it, because that is special and meant to be for Easter morning. 

Our Books this month include: Botanicum, It All Starts With a Seed (Usborne), The Usborne Book of Growing Food, The Ology, Tales of Peter Rabbit, Where is Easter Island?, Who Was Beatrix Potter? and Poetry Teatime Companion.

Our Games & Activities are Wildcraft Herbal Adventure Game, Bible Go Fish from the Classical Historian, Foodle Board Game, Planting Seeds in our garden, and doing some watercoloring! 

If you're looking for some more ideas, check out my

Grab these Free Spring & Garden Journaling Pages with Cutouts! You can create your own carrot banner like my picture above, and use the rabbits for play! 🙂
Just click on the image and they can be yours!

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