Glowing Under the Sea!

We went diving into our new ocean unit! I wanted to make the first day of this unit BIG, so I went with a glow-in-the-dark theme…like the bioluminescent animals in the midnight zone! I painted coral reef backgrounds. The students had made glow-in-the-dark jellies in art class last week that I had planned to use as part of the display.

I recorded students’ reactions as they entered the classroom when they arrived at school.  They were so surprised that almost every student was silent! After their outside playtime, I recorded again as they all entered the classroom together.  THIS was the reaction I was originally expecting!

I planned different activities….each activity had a glow-in-the-dark component. I displayed the rotation of activities on the SmartBoard. Students knew which group they were a part of according to the sea animal on their headband.

Here is a closer look at the activities:

Students searched the room for sea animals with pictures on them. They then spelled the words on their activity sheet using a highlighter.

Using a glow-in-the-dark ruler, students measured sea creatures and recorded their answers in inches. They again used a highlighter to record their answers.

Building items found under the sea using glow-in-the-dark rubber bands and geoboards was a hit!

There were many fun designs.

Coloring CVC words using neon crayons was fun as well.

Students identified 3D shapes, including the number of faces and vertices each shape has.

Students strengthened spatial awareness and practiced identifying shapes by building sea animals with pattern blocks.

The final activity was using glow-in-the-dark perler beads to make an ocean animal. Glow-in-the-dark perler beads?! Who knew?! This activities is a great one for strengthening fine motor.


We had so much fun learning in the midnight zone. I was impressed with how well the kindergarteners focused in the glowing classroom. What a special day!


We have been learning about crabs…what they eat, where they live, what they look like, how their pincers work… So it was very fitting that today during Friday Fun that the kindergarteners made crabby crabwiches.


This activity really solidified the fact that crabs have eight legs and two pincers. My little oceanographers had a huge laugh when they saw the incorrect recipe!



We learned about how ocean animals use camouflage. I showed these amazing images from National Geographic, and we tried to find each of the ocean animals.

Here is the link to these great images:

(All images are from National Geographic)

I then read aloud Mister Sea Horse, by Eric Carle. While the book tells the story of how male sea horses and a few other “male mothers” give birth to their young, it also illustrates the concept of camouflage nicely.

Students then created their own camouflage picture using a page protector, permanent marker, sea horse drawing, and tissue paper.

I love how these turned out!

Friday Fun

We made the neatest edible seascape today during Friday Fun. The students loved creating (and eating) an ocean scene on a graham cracker!

Here is the recipe. We used vanilla yogurt (with blue food coloring) instead of frosting in order to keep things on the healthier side. Dr. Inman found gummy sea life at Trader Joes, so we used those instead of gold fish crackers.

Under the Sea

We have had so much fun learning going on with our ocean unit! A few weeks ago during Friday Fun, students made sea stars. I have created a “tide pool” in the back of our classroom where the sea stars now reside.

For this activity, students made their own puffy paint by mixing glue, shaving cream, and acrylic paint. They then sprinkled little pasta balls on top to give the sea stars more texture.

Students also went exploring under the sea in a submarine.

Here is what they saw:

In art class, students made and glazed ceramic fish dishes.

I am excited to see the final result once they are glazed and fired! So much fishy fun in kindergarten these days!

Sensory Fun

Last weekend, as I was planning for my son’s tractor-themed third birthday party, I came across an idea for a sensory tub using water beads.

I ran to Michael’s and found the beads. To my delight, they had several different colors, including blue! The wheels in my head started to turn…what if I made an ocean-themed sensory tub filled with the blue water beads and ocean animals?! I sent my daughter to find a Toob filled with seals, whales, dolphins and more. We purchased the items and headed next door to Bed, Bath and Beyond to find a plastic tub in which to put the beads. Mission accomplished.

On Monday morning I excitedly shared the sensory tub idea with the students. Together we measured and added a total of eight liters of water to the two bags of water beads. (The beads start out about the size of a pin head and grow to be the size of a marble!) I told the students that the beads would be close to fully grown by the time we returned from our field trip that day.

The beads took a little more time to swell to the marble-size I was hoping for, but when they did, the students were thrilled!

This sensory bin, in addition to the ocean-themed Playmobil set I added to Choice Time, have been very popular, as you can imagine! In fact, we are choosing Fair Sticks so that each student has a chance to explore the water beads.

Fun, fun, fun!