Saturday, July 7, 2012


On monday, we had gone to Typhoon Lagoon waterpark.  They have a fun activity where you can snorkel with sharks!  You get a mask and snorkel (thoroughly sanitized with lots of chemicals), wait in line, and then get two sets of instructions (because Disney needs to give lots of instructions for every attraction!), and then swim through a long pool from one side to the other.   Levi and I did it twice, and then went to an underwater viewing area where you could see the sharks some more.

So today, we learned all about sharks.

I got some of the lapbook and lesson plan resources from:
Homeschool share
Monterey Bay Aquarium (I really want to take Levi here sometime!)
Magic School Bus (we also read this book)
Bookish Ways (this one has ocean stuff in general)

Eyewitness Shark DVD (got from library)

Books: (these are just our favorites from the many we looked at!)
Zoobooks: Sharks (magazine I got who knows where!)
Eyes on Nature
Scary Creatures: Sharks (cool see-through pages!)

Story books:
Smiley Shark
Gilbert in Deep
Magic School Bus: Shark Escape

I also found some papers Levi hadn't finished from his shark class at Homeschool Trading

Some of the things we learned about sharks:
- shark teeth (how many they have and why, how they are used)
- how sharks breath (lungs vs. gills)
- freshwater sharks (are there any?)
- Are sharks a fish or mammal?  Whats the difference?
- shark sizes (biggest, smallest, most common, comparing sizes)
- shark skeletons (and which part of our face is cartilage)
- some facts about specific sharks (great white, angel, goblin)
- shark anatomy
- shark names (and where they get them)
- lifecycle (and baby sharks)
- relatives of sharks (like rays, which we will look into next)
- diet

We talked all about shark's teeth and about how some sharks eat plankton.  To demonstrate how the shark's mouth acts like a strainer, I set up a quick and simple water activity.
I filled a shallow box with water, dumped in the contents of the hole-puncher hole collector, and handed Levi a strainer.

We also found out how big sharks are, some are tiny (the spiny pygmy shark is only 8" full grown) and some are HUGE (the whale shark is 60 feet!).   I had Levi do a similar project to our dinosaur one, measuring with chalk on the driveway to compare lengths.  The whale shark went all the way to the middle of the road.   Levi filled out a graph as we did this.


Instead of a lapbook, we are making the Under the Sea Unit into a notebook, using one of those file folders that has 3 hole punch brads inside.  Thank you Michelle for the suggestion!    This one is going to be pretty big for just a lapbook, and I have a bunch of full size worksheets that will do better in a binder than glued to file folders.  I think I like this better than the lapbooks actually, its neater looking!   I also have used a little bit of stick tack to stick the little flaps closed on some of the books.  (I call it bluetack, but its called "poster putty" in the U.S. apparently, and its white instead of blue).  This stops everything from flopping around.

Next we are going to learn about one of the sharks relatives, rays!  Not sure how much info is out there, but we will find out!

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