By Sandra Jacoby
At some point in every primary level classroom, an ocean creature is going to float across the minds of the students. Whether you teach using themes and talk about ocean life for weeks or only briefly cover sea mammals, fish or plants, here is an activity that teaches more than just the ocean!
First, the things you will need:
• paper plates (a half for each child in the classroom)
• crepe paper (in a variety of colors, cut into four different lengths, between 6-12 inches)
Steps to follow:
1.) Have the students write their names on the side of the plate that you would normally cover with food.
2.) Let each student select for pieces of pre-cut crêpe paper – one of each in four different sizes.
3.) Allow the children to arrange the crêpe paper from shortest to longest (or visa versa). When they have it correctly arranged, they should glue the pieces to the side of the paper plate where they wrote their names.
4.) When all pieces are attached, have the students pick up their jellyfish by the plate and turn it around to see. If children are capable, have them write “shortest” and “longest” on the appropriate sides. If they cannot do this step on their own, provide help: your hand over theirs, sentence strips with the words on them, etc.
5.) If time permits and if preferred, have the students draw a face on their jellyfish.
What you taught and what to do with the jellies:
You have just covered so many things with your students. The letter J and the sound it makes, shortest to longest, writing skills, counting, sea creatures…and you now have a great classroom decoration to boot!
Sandra Jacoby graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in December, 2008, with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies. She currently teaches pre-kindergarten in Fredericksburg, Texas.