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Lesson Plan #: AELP-WCP0210
Submitted by: Jamie Gorman
Email: Blonde7942@aol.com
School/University/Affiliation: California University of PA

May 18, 2002

Grade Level: Kindergarten, 1


  • Language Arts/Writing
  • Science/Oceanography
  • Science/Animals
  • Language Arts/Literature/Children’s Literature
  • Arts

Duration: 50 minutes

Description: This lesson is centered around an ocean theme. Each student creates an ocean story by drawing pictures on paper plates.

Goal: The goal of this lesson is to have the students learn about the ocean while completing many different activities that will strengthen their understanding.


  • Students will be able to recall information learned from a previous lesson about the ocean.
  • Students will be able to create an ocean story by drawing pictures on paper plates.
  • Students will explain what they know, would like to know, and learned about the ocean during the construction of a KWL chart.
  • Materials:

    • On Our Vacation by Anne Rockwell
    • I Wonder Why Fish Don’t Drown by Annabelle Donati
    • paper plates
    • crayons
    • markers
    • stapler
    • chart paper


    [In a previous lesson students listened to a story called, The Seashore Book by Charolette Zolotow. Students also learned about the names of the oceans, animals that live in the ocean, and why the ocean is blue. Students also learned two ocean songs (listed at the end of this lesson plan).]

    Start the lesson by asking students to recall what they learned from the previous lesson about oceans. Ask them to recall the names of the oceans. Ask them if they remember the story read called, The Seashore Book . Remind students that the story was about a mother telling her little boy about a trip to the seashore. Tell the students that they will be listening to another story about a trip to the ocean. Read the story entitled, On Our Vacation . [ Summary of story: This is a story about a mother telling her son about the ocean. The mother talks about all of the things that they would do if they went to the ocean. It is kind of like a vacation of the mind; a very cute story!]

    After the story, tell students that they will be making their own story about a trip to the beach. Students will be making their story by drawing pictures on paper plates. (Teachers should create a model to show the students.) Tell the children that if they don’t know how to draw something, then they should just try their best. Give each student four paper plates. After the students create their story, staple the plates together in a row to show sequence. (The paper plates can be stapled horizontally or vertically. Students can also choose to have the first paper plate be a title page or not.) After students have finished their stories, construct a KWL chart. Ask the students what they know about the ocean and what they would like to learn about the the ocean. Select a couple of questions from the W section and read the book, I Wonder Why Fish Don’t Drown . [ Summary of book: This is more of an expository text. The book has a lot of neat facts about the ocean and its creatures. There are sections entitled, Do Fish Ever Sleep? and Why Do Crabs Have Claws?] Following the book ask, What did you learn about the ocean and its creatures? Read the questions and answers to complete the L part of the chart.

    To conclude the lesson, have students share their ocean stories.

    Assessment: Informally assess students during the introduction to see if they recall information from the previous lesson. Assess students’ participation during the completion of the KWL chart.

    Special Comments: The students loved making their own stories out of paper plates. This is also adaptable for different developmental level!

    Songs :

    Fish Are Swimming (sung to the tune of Frere Jacques)
    Fish are swimming,
    Fish are swimming,
    In the sea,
    In the sea,
    A-splishing and a-splashing,
    A-splishing and a-splashing,
    Look and see,
    Look and see.

    Take Me Out to the Ocean (sung to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ballgame)
    Take me out to the ocean,
    Take me out to the sea,
    There goes a starfish and sand dollar,
    I’m having such fun, I’ve just go to holler,
    Oh, it’s swim, swim, swim underwater,
    Catch a ride on a whale, don’t fear,
    For the sea animals are our friends,
    Let’s give a great, big cheer!