Celebrating Children’s Book Week – Oceans and Seas

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 2

Here’s the last lot of session plans for our day off-timetable as part of Children’s Book Week next week. These sessions are for year 2 studens (6-7 year olds) and are based on their current topic “Oceans and Seas”.

Session 1

Book: The fantastic undersea life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
Follow up book: Manfish: The Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne and Eric Puybaret
Focus activity: Watching a short video of Jacques Cousteau then creating a porthole through which creatures of the deep can be viewed.
Resources required: paper plates, strips of tissue paper in shades of blue, glue, permanent pens/crayons (make sure whatever you use does not run when glue is painted over it, and that the colours are strong enough to be visible through the tissue paper), scissors, grey paint (optional – for painting the plates to make them look more like portholes).
Independent activities: Set of ocean factfiles with colouring in and also some maths-based, ocean-themed activities all from learningpage.com (you need to sign up for access to these, but sign up is quick, easy and free)
Additional books: Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins, Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish by Janet Halfmann and Joan Paley

A porthole made from paper plates

1. Take one plate and draw a creature of the deep in the centre of the plate.
2. Glue strips of tissue paper across your plate (this will look best if the tissue paper has previously been scrunched up and is then smoothed out again)
3. Take your second plate and cut out the central circle. Optionally paint this plate gray.
4. Put glue around the rim of the first plate and stick the second plate on top to create your porthole
5. Trim away any excess tissue paper left hanging out between the plates.

Random House has produced a Teacher’s Sheet for The fantastic undersea life of Jacques Cousteau which contains lots of discussion prompts (opens as a pdf document).

Session 2

Book: Immi by Karin Littlewood (which I reviewed here)
Follow up book: Can you catch a Mermaid? by Jane Ray (which Cathy from Nurturestore reviewed here on Playing by the book)
Focus activity: Fishing for words
Resources required: Prepared fishing game made from laminated fish pictures with words from class dictionaries/encyclopedias on the reverse, and fishing rods with magnets on them, based on this earlier project at Playing by the book (but made more robust in order to put up with classroom love!), classroom dictionaries / reference books, record sheet (here’s one I made for us to use), pens (to record catch). Rather than making a new game you could adapt a shop bought one by simply putting stickers with words on the back of the fish.
Independent activities: Collaborative undersea mural from learningpage.com (you need to sign up for access to these, but sign up is quick, easy and free), creating and playing with a beach scene (large tray with some sand, water, plastic ocean animals, shells)
Additional books: Flotsam by David Wiesner (which I reviewed here), More, More, More by Dawn Casey and Nick Price.

Top tip: When preparing the fishing activity make sure you check the words you stick on your fish are actually to be found in the dictionaries / reference books you are using.
Teaching notes to go with the ocean mural

Session 3

Book: Little Boat by Thomas Docherty
Follow up book: 10 little rubber ducks by Eric Carle
Focus activity: Sinking and floating experiment: How does salt effect sinking/floating (see tutorial here at proteacher.org)? Children will be given this sheet to make their predictions and mark the results in plain water and salty water.
Resources required: Large bowls/bucket, salt, measuring jugs, potatoes, carrots, beans, worksheets for each table, water, kettle / warm water in flasks
Independent activities: Creating pictures with ocean and pirate themed stickers
Additional books: Whale by David Lucas (which I reviewed here), Big Blue Whale by Nicola Davies and Nick Maland

Which activities and books catch your eye? What do you think you would have fun doing?

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