Kindergarten students transform their classroom into an ocean environment for the Ocean Studies unit. Inspired by the sounds of crashing waves, the students use their artistic talents to make beautiful fish, sea urchins, and starfish to decorate their learning space. Their knowledge of the ocean and its sea creatures continues to expand as they begin their ocean reports in small groups. They start by learning about each different ocean animal and synthesizing the new things they learn.
Kindergarteners are asked to work on comprehension and summarization skills as they explore this type of non-fiction text. Students then select an animal they would like to learn more about and practice illustrating a research report cover. Each report contains a section covering the following topics: body, habitat, prey and predator, and fun facts. The kindergarteners also visit the UCSB Marine Lab touch tanks, which provides a hands-on introduction to local marine organisms and the role the marine environment plays in our lives. Students work on their ocean animal reports over the course of two weeks and then present the information they have researched and documented to their classmates and parents.