Ocean Smarts: Dolphins and Sharks!
Sea creatures make fantastic unit study subjects. Some of the most awe-inspiring ocean dwellers share some physical similarities but boast an incredible variety of features. Check out this Homeschool Living for tips and resources for creating your own sharks and dolphins unit study and dive back into the school year with enthusiasm!
This shark unit study from Great Peace Living shares resources for studying shark science facts, suggestions for exploring sharks in literature and history, and even ways to incorporate sharks into lessons in geography, math, art, and music.
Download this free dolphin lapbook for elementary students to help teach about dolphin classification, dolphin behaviors, dolphin diets, and more.
Comparing and contrasting these two ocean animals is a great way to explore the features of each. Students of all ages can conduct research and record their findings in an age-appropriate format. This page on the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation website is a good place to start exploring the differences in sharks and dolphins’ appearance, social conduct, habitat, and more.
Live Video Feeds for Amazing Sea Creatures
You can check out the live shark cam at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California from 7am to 7pm daily–or watch pre-recorded footage from the camera during the off hours. Visit the aquarium without even leaving your home!
Explore.org features a wide variety of videos, including a short look into the research on the lives of wild dolphins. You can also find highlight videos featuring many other sea creatures, and live shoreline and ocean cameras.
Have you ever wondered how dolphins can talk to each other underwater? You can find out more about dolphins and whales’ communication method–echolocation–on the Whale and Dolphin Conservation website.
Try this echolocation demonstration to help illustrate how the concept of locating objects around us through the use of sound waves works. See if your students can think of some other animals that use echolocation as a means of communication or navigation.