Are you looking for some activity inspiration for an ocean unit study in your kindergarten classroom? In this post, I’m going to walk you through a two-week ocean unit for kindergarten. This unit helps students learn all about ocean animals as they practice math, literacy, and even fine motor skills!
Week One, Day One
Math – Addition and Subtraction Practice
Start the week with some fun ocean-themed addition and subtraction practice! Have students solve the addition and subtraction equations written on the shells, then glue them on the correct answers. Then students can flip each shell to see the answer, like a flap book!
Another fun way to practice addition and subtraction equations during an ocean unit study is with these flashcards! Students can have fun comparing who had the larger answer for each equation they flip over. This is an ocean twist on the traditional game of “War” and it will really get your students thinking!
Ocean KWL Chart
Before reading a nonfiction book about the ocean, discuss with students what they already know and what they wonder about the ocean. Then record these things on your KWL chart.
After class discussion, have students write about what they know about the ocean. Then have them add something that they wonder about the ocean.
Once the students have had plenty of time with the pre-reading activities, it’s time to read the nonfiction text. As you read, be sure to write down any new learning on the KWL chart.
All About the Ocean Mini Books
Once students have learned some new facts about the ocean, it’s time for them to create their own books! Have students draw pictures of ocean animals and write some facts that they learned about the ocean. Decorate the front of the book with watercolors – perfect for painting an ocean!
Week One, Day Two
On day two of the ocean unit study for kindergarten, it’s time to learn about fish!
Counting by Ones, Fives, and Tens
Students can practice counting by ones, fives, and tens as they find the missing fish in each number sequence.
Addition and Subtraction
Bring some fishing fun to addition and subtraction practice! Students will love fishing for equations and then placing them on the fish bowl with the correct answer.
Fish Anchor Chart
After reading a nonfiction book about fish, create an anchor chart together as a class. Students love to help write the facts on sentence strips!
Fish Writing and Craft
After spending some time identifying fish facts together as a class, invite the students to write and illustrate their own paper with fish facts. This round writing paper looks like a fish bowl, but its shape also makes it perfect for a fish craft!
If you haven’t noticed from my other weekly units, I love incorporating crafts to go with our learning! For today, you can invite students to paint a fish that will serve as a cover page for the writing they just did. Each fish will turn out so unique and beautiful, just like all of the species of fish in the ocean!
Week One, Day Three
Fish are so fun that you can spend another day with fish-themed activities!
Addition and Subtraction Practice
In my classroom, I have found that students need reminders to pay attention to the + and – signs in equations. If it’s the same in your classroom, try making it into a little game!
I like to say: “Who am I going to trick today???” Students are always so proud of themselves when they solve all of their equations correctly and don’t get “tricked” by the teacher!
For this fish-themed math practice, students will solve addition and subtraction equations and then add the corresponding fish to the fish bowl. When gluing down the fish, we only put glue at the top so the fish could be flipped up to see the equation that went with each number.
Rainbow Fish Writing and Craft
After reading “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister, have your students complete a writing and craft project! First, use tissue paper and aluminum foil to create rainbow fish. The foil adds a special touch to this craft!
After writing about how they can be a good friend, students can assemble their writing and craft into a fun lift-the-flap!
Week One, Day Four
It’s shark day! Students will be so excited to learn more about sharks and have shark-themed math activities.
This fun shark subtraction mat gives students the opportunity to act out subtraction equations. The shark will keep eating some of the fish, so there will be multiple equations to practice!
Another fun shark subtraction activity is to color, cut, and glue a shark onto a paper bag. Students can solve different subtraction equations by adding the given fish to the shark’s stomach. The number of fish left is the answer!
Shark Anchor Chart
Learn more about sharks with a nonfiction text and an interactive writing anchor chart!
Shark Writing and Craft
Once students have had plenty of time to discuss and learn about sharks, it’s time for them to write about what they learned! They’ll probably notice the fun shape of the writing paper, which corresponds to the upcoming shark craft!
The first step is to create the shark that serves as the cover for the writing. This cover is fun because the title is actually inside the shark’s mouth!
After creating the cover, cut out and add the writing behind it. These make a fun bulletin board display! Students will also be excited to take these home and tell their families all about sharks.
Just be sure to watch out for shark attacks!
Week One, Day Five
Clark the Shark Writing and Craft
After reading the cute store “Clark the Shark Dares to Share” by Bruce Hale, it’s time for another fun writing and craft project! Students can create their own Clark the Shark and then add it to a page of writing that talks about how they can share like Clark.
Make Ten with Whales
After plenty of time to discuss sharks, it’s time to move on to learning about whales! Add some extra fun to math practice with this fun activity that uses food! Using the whale mat and goldfish crackers, students can model addition equations and determine how many more are needed to make ten.
Whale Subtraction Practice
You can also use a whale-themed mini reader to practice subtraction! They can fill in the blanks on each page by using the pictures. Then they can write subtraction equations to go with the pictures and sentences.
Whale Anchor Chart
Kindergartners thrive on routine, so they’ll be ready to read a nonfiction text about whales and create the anchor chart!
Whale Writing and Craft
Your students will also know what it means when they get writing paper in a fun shape: It’s time for a whale writing craftivity!
Students can write down and illustrate a fact that they learned about whales.
Then they can create the cover for their writing. For some added fun, try adding some spouting water!
Then it’s time to put it together for a fun whale bulletin board display or take-home book!
Week Two, Day One
There are still plenty of ocean animals to learn about in this kindergarten unit study! Get ready for another week full of ocean-themed learning!
Ocean Addition and Subtraction Practice
Students can practice solving addition and subtraction equations with this fun color-by-code worksheet! They can use the code to color each picture based on the answer. All of this fun ocean-themed addition and subtraction practice will really have the students mastering the + and – signs!
Bingo Under the Sea is another great way to get your students excited about practicing addition and subtraction! Students can fill in their number cards with their choice of numbers 0 to 10. Then you can read an addition or subtraction equation for students to solve. Once they have the answer, students can cover that number on their bingo card. Whenever someone had a bingo, they would shout “BINGO UNDER THE SEA!!!”
Decide if you’d like to award prizes to the bingo winners. My students love these fun clear rocks! (I always make sure everyone is a winner in the end.)
Dolphin Anchor Chart
Next up, it’s time to learn about dolphins! After reading a nonfiction book about dolphins, work together to make an anchor chart full of facts that you learned!
Dolphin Writing and Craft
After students have learned about dolphins, they can write and illustrate their favorite new facts! Then you can make a craft to go with it.
Week Two, Day Two
Ocean Addition and Subtraction Practice
Create a mini addition reader about animals in the ocean! Students can use the pictures to fill in the blanks in each sentence. Then they can write an addition equation to go with the completed sentence.
Another way to bring some ocean fun to addition and subtraction practice is this Under the Sea Adventure game! Each student is an ocean animal that starts in the water. Their goal is to be the first one to the treasure box. They can solve addition and subtraction equations to determine how many spaces they can move forward. There are some bumps and bonuses along the way, though! This is such a FUN game to play! I like to add it to our math centers when we’re done playing it for the first time.
Sea Turtle Anchor Chart
This is a great day to learn about sea turtles! Start by reading a nonfiction book about sea turtles. Work together to make an anchor chart with some fun facts that you learn together.
Sea Turtle Writing and Craft
After reading about sea turtles, have students write down some facts that they learned. Be sure to add an illustration!
After the writing is complete, create a fun sea turtle craft! Once the craft is finished, students can place their writing behind the turtle.
Week Two, Day Three
Ocean Themed Addition Practice
Start by reading and acting out addition stories with pictures.
Crab Anchor Chart
It’s time to learn about another ocean animal! Use the internet or a non-fiction reader to learn facts about crabs. Make an anchor chart with some facts that you learn together.
Crab Writing and Craft
Students can then write some facts on their own about crabs.
After the writing is complete, it’s time to make a crab craft! Students have so much fun playing with these crafts. My students like to have their crabs walk sideways all over the classroom!
Once the crab crafts are complete, you can add the writing behind the cover to make a fun All About Crabs book. These also look great on a bulletin board!
Hermit Crab Story Sequencing
You can have even more crab fun with some hermit crab story sequencing! First, read the story “A House for Hermit Crab,” by Eric Carle. After reading and discussing the story, you can have the students sequence the different things that Hermit Crab added to his shell.
Week Two, Day Four
Ocean Theme Subtraction Practice
Start the day by reading and acting out subtraction stories with pictures.
Hermit Crab Craft
Continue the hermit crab fun from yesterday by painting a shell just like the one in the story “A House for Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle. Remember to add all of the things to Hermit Crab’s shell, just like in the book!
You can also have fun choosing what else you would add to Hermit Crab’s new shell. When I did this activity with my students, they were choosing pizza, cards, sparkles, Barbies, clothes, hair, glasses, and more!
Hermit Crab Writing
Next up, have students create a piece of writing to coordinate with their crafts. This makes a great bulletin board display!
Octopus Anchor Chart
You can add to ocean animal knowledge with a nonfiction book about octopuses! Create an anchor chart with an interactive writing activity to write down some facts that you learned together.
Octopus Writing and Craft
After creating the octopus anchor chart, you can have students write some facts about octopuses. Keep these papers in a safe place until you’re ready for the next step – a fun octopus craft!
This fun octopus craft is a great way to finish up the octopus fun! Simply add eyes and tentacles, then use glue sticks to make the tentacles curly! Then place the writing from yesterday under the head of the octopus.
If your students are anything like mine, the octopus craft might end up on some heads!
Week Two, Day Five
Octopus Addition Practice – Make 8
On the final day of the ocean unit, it’s time for even more octopus fun! With this addition practice worksheet, your students can help an octopus with missing tentacles. Have students paint the correct number of tentacles on each octopus to have eight tentacles in all! Then students can illustrate this with an addition equation.
Ocean Animal Graphing
Now that you have learned about ocean animals over the past two weeks, it’s time to choose your favorite one! First, create a large class graph for each student to show their favorite ocean animal. Your students will be excited to see which animal has the most votes! Then you can have each student create their own graph and summary of the data.
My Favorite Ocean Animal Craft and Writing
To end the ocean unit, have each student write about their favorite ocean animal and why it is their favorite. Then, they can create an ocean craft that highlights their favorite ocean animal. You can add lamination to the front to make the animal look like it is swimming in the ocean! (This is why some of the pictures below are extra shiny.)
Ocean Unit Study Printable Activities
All of the activities shown above can be found in my printable bundle of math, literacy, and writing activities for an ocean unit study! You can take a closer look at this product in the A Spoonful of Learning Shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers.
I have also divided this ocean unit study into two parts, if you would prefer just the math activities or just the literacy activities.
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