Module 11

 Module 11 Home




Early Years
Marine Education



Workshop Outline

Materials Required

Further Reading


Most Australians live in or near a coastal zone. Our population is increasingly placing pressure on our fragile marine environments. It is therefore vital to acknowledge the importance of marine education in assisting children develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to take environmentally responsible actions now and in the future to protect our coastal ecosystems. Effective marine education requires teachers to utilise appropriate strategies which will assist children to appreciate and also care for the marine world.

Young children are highly motivated and curious about the world around them. Marine education in the early years of schooling should enhance the innate capacity within children to learn form the natural world. It should be concerned with providing positive attitudes towards and encounters with, the sea and its surrounds. This workshop encourages and equips teachers to implement marine education for children aged 5-8 years.


The objectives of the workshop are:

  • to provide inspiration about the potential for marine education in the early years of school
  • to identify some of the issues involved in marine education eg collecting shells
  • to develop awareness of the marine education concepts and understandings relevant to the early years
  • to increase understanding of the learner aged 5-8 years and relevant teaching strategies
  • to consider an integrated curriculum approach in relation to marine studies and the national curriculum profiles
  • to develop a range of learning experiences across the curriculum areas which promote the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes about marine environments
  • to examine resources available for teaching in this area

Workshop Outline

There are five activities in this workshop:

1. Introduction

This activity is an icebreaker to promote discussion and explore participants concepts, knowledge, values and feelings about marine environments. It is also an opportunity to outline the objectives and content of the workshop.

2. Inspiration, Issues and Concepts

Through the use of various media, participants will be tuned in to the marine environment. There will be an opportunity to discuss issues which may arise from marine studies. Concepts relevant to the early years learner will be considered.

3. The Early Years Learner, Teaching Strategies and Curriculum Approaches

Participants will consider the characteristics of the early years learner from their own experience and will extend on this to explore appropriate teaching strategies in the context of marine education. An integrated curriculum approach will be considered.

4. Learning Experiences across the Curriculum and Resources

A variety of resources will be explored and learning experiences developed with links to the national curriculum profiles.

5. Conclusion

What are the take home messages in marine and coastal education? Where do we go from here in our workplaces to implement marine education?

Materials Required

A. Provided

Overhead Transparencies

  OHT 1A Workshop objectives
  OHT 1B Workshop outline
  OHT 2A The hidden wealth of the oceans
  OHT 2B Marine education concepts
  OHT 3A Characteristics of children aged 5 - 8years
  OHT 3B Appropriate teaching strategies for early years marine education
  OHT 4 National Curriculum Profile Key Learning Areas



  Resource 2A A story ‘A journey to our ocean — land and sea links’
  Resource 2B A mud map ‘Australia an island continent on an ocean planet’
  Resource 2C Marine education concepts
  Resource 2D Marine education concept activities
  Resource 2E Copy of the ‘State of Environment Report for Estuaries and the Sea’
  Resource 2F Report card outline
  Resource 4 Marine education resource list



B. To be obtained

Activity 2

• A4 Paper, Easel size paper, Black crayons
• Audio tape of sea sounds
• Copies of Resources 2D, 2E and 2F

Activity 4

• An Octupus’s Garden, An Early Childhood Marine Education Resource Guide for Teaching Young Children 3-8 years, published by Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences, 1996.
• A variety of collected resources, some suggestions are in Resource 4. Participants could be requested to bring relevant resources to the workshop.
• Copies of Resource 4

Activity 5

• Whiteboard and pen

Further Reading

Bredekamp, S. ed (1987) Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth Through Age 8. NAEYC, Washington
Bruce, J.B. (1995) The Australian Seashore, Kangaroo Press, Australia.
Burnie, D. (1994) Eyewitness Explorers - Seashore, Harper Collins, Australia
Coldrey, J. (1993) Eyewitness Explorers - Shells, Harper Collins, Australia.
Dracup, M. (1988) Beach for Kids, Collins Dove, Australia
Farrugia, J. & Linford, C. (1996) An Octopus’s Garden An Early Childhood Marine Education Resource Guide, Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences.
Gould League of SA (1995) Cetaceans A Cross Curriculum Package for Primary and Lower Secondary Teachers.
Gould League of Victoria Publications, Caring for the Coast; Coasting; Coastal Survival; Coastal Wildlife; Crabs; Outdoor Environmental Games; Environmental Starters; Seabirds; Shellfish Survival; Whales.
Junior Topics, Ashton Scholastic, Fish; The Sea; Shipwrecks; Sharks.
Macquitty, M. (1995) Collins Eyewitness Guides - Oceans, Harper Collins, Australia.
Marris, S. (1998) Australian Guide to Seashores, Gould League of Victoria
McCracken, M. & R. (1989) The Sea and Other Water Ideas for Teachers.
Noonan, D. & Bishop, N. (1996) The Rocky Shore, Heinemann Education.
Parish, S. (1997) First Field Guide to Australian Marine Life, Steve Parish Publishing
Sander, K. and Tribe, D. ( 1996) Conserving our Coasts, Gould Leaguer Vol. 5, No. 3, Gould League of NSW
Science and Technology Education in Primary Schools (STEPS) CSF Level 1&2 The Sea. Program notes and video footage of programs transmitted to Victorian Schools - Term 1, 1996.
Slater, P. (1997) Amazing Facts about Australian Marine Life, Steve Parish Publishing
Swartz, J. & Tsernjavski, N. (1993) Riding the Tide, Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences and the Gould League of Victoria.
Thomas, A. (1995) The Ocean. A Learning Centre, Macmillan, Australia Pty. Ltd.
Tsernjavski, N. (1994) A.B.Sea; A Cross Curriculum Marine Studies Guide for Prep-Year 12, Warrawee Publications, Australia.