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Theme: Communities Celebrating the Sea

Seaweek '88 coordinators: Julie Swartz, Pauline Halpin, Greg McGarvie

Extending the theme - classroom activities

These educational activities are adapted from the Marine Life Resources Kit of Seaweek'89 by the Marine Studies Centre, Queenscliff

What am I?


  • to describe and recognise some marine life.

Read the following clues and ask the students to identify the animal described.

"When I am not feeding people think I am merely a blob. Unlike you, I have no skeleton to support me and I can only move slowly. I glide across my rocky home on my soft 'suction-cup' bottom. When the tide comes in, I open out like a flower and wave my tentacles around to catch tiny animals that I cannot see.

When they touch me, I poison them with stinging tentacles and put them into my mouth. It takes me all night to digest my dinner and I have to spit out the hard bits. I think I am a beautiful creature and I rarely get eaten by others because they are afraid of my tentacles".

  • Ask the students to write their own 'What am I' clues using posters and books as stimulus.
  • Present all the clues to the whole class.

Living on the Edge


  • to consider the problems facing animals living on the edge between land and sea.
  • Activity

  • Discuss the beach and rocky shore as habitats. They are neither land nor sea, yet both. Refer to the movements of tides in and out twice a day.
  • List some of the wildlife of these environments.
  • Discuss the problems faced by those living there eg wave action, tidal movements, drying out, heating up, sunburn, salinity changes, exposure to predators, lack of food etc.
  • Identify the adaptations possessed by the plants and animals that make life in these environments possible eg behaviour, feeding patterns, body shapes etc.

What's for Dinner?


  • to understand why, how and on what some animals feed.
  • Activity

  • Ask the students why they eat (for energy) and what they need energy for (moving, breathing etc).
  • Look at posters or in books and discuss how a marine animal might feed. You will need to consider:
    • their habitats (crab - rocky reef, anemone - rock pool and cowfish - seagrass bed) and
    • their mobility (crab - slow crawler, anemone - almost stationary and cowfish - quick swimmer).
  • Discuss what they could and could not eat:
    • Crabs scavenge on dead matter,
    • anemone traps small fish and crustaceans and
    • cowfish picks up small crabs and shrimps).
  • Ask the students to mime the moving and feeding actions of a marine animal. Other students should guess what they are.

Sea Water Science


  • to investigate some properties of sea water.


  • Compare the taste of sea water and fresh water.
  • Demonstrate dissolving salt in water.
  • Evaporate sea water and fresh water in shallow jars (sun or heat source). Students should discover salt crystals from sea water.
  • Look through a glass of water to see that it is transparent, then discuss why the ocean is blue.
  • Leave a jar of water in a warm place until small oxygen bubbles form at the surface. Students should conclude that oxygen also is dissolved in water.
  • Add a few drops of food dye to fresh water in a jar. Pour in sea water, it should sink below the coloured water because it is more dense (heavier), due to the dissolved minerals it contains.
  • Test a variety of objects for buoyancy in sea and fresh water.

Life in the seagrass

A Pipefish and Cowfish.

  • What are their needs?
  • What are their adaptations?
  • How do they survive?

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Extending the theme - classroom activities
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