There’s just something fun and mysterious about life underwater. It’s crazy when you think about it! There’s an entire world under the surface of the water. So many neat plants, animals, and fish to learn about. It’s no wonder kids get so excited when it’s time to do a deep dive into learning about ocean animals. I love to tap into their excitement and let them explore underwater life with these fun ocean animals activities.
Ocean animals and underwater life can be such a broad topic to cover in a short amount of time. It’s important to narrow down focus while keeping your kiddos engaged. Don’t try to do it all! Pick and choose what is most relatable for your class and go with it.
Lapbook Fun in the Classroom
I’m sure you’ve all used an interactive notebook in your classroom by now. They are super effective and keep kids organized in a subject area or for a particular topic.
Lapbooks are just mini interactive notebooks. They work perfectly for science lessons like ocean animals.
With lapbooks, your students will have everything they need in one neat folder. This keeps you from having tons of storage bins for every themed unit you are covering.
It’s a win-win for everyone! They also serve as a great study tool, they are perfect for review, and they make an amazing keepsake to take home!
If you are new to lapbooks then make sure to check out this blog post that will tell you everything you need about using lapbooks in the classroom.
With a little time and a few supplies, you’ll be all set and ready to go for these fun ocean animal activities. Lapbooks are so easy to prep, and they are so effective because they keep kids actively engaged throughout the entire lesson. You probably already have everything you need in your classroom to prep the perfect lapbooks. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Manila file folders
- colored pencils or crayons
- printouts for the lesson OR the ocean animals activity resource
Check out this video to see how easy it is to make lapbooks in your classroom today!
That’s it! It’s time to get started.
If this is your first time using lapbooks with your students, you may want to fold the manilla folders for them and teach them how it is done. This will save you a lot of time on the next go-round. With a little practice, even our youngest students can prepare their own lapbooks.
Get Started With Your Ocean Animals Activities
This is such a fun topic to teach! I always love to dive right in. A simple way to get your kids excited from the start is to put up a few decorations before they come into your classroom. Some blue streamers at the door, a few ocean animals hanging from the ceiling, and some underwater music playing really helps to set the mood and amp up the excitement level. I usually replace their morning work with a fun ocean animal color-by-number to kick us off too.
Types of Ocean Animals
There are tons of ocean animals you can explore. My students always get so excited sharing their favorites with the class. This is a great way to begin your lesson. I love to have an open class discussion and complete a KWL chart together on different types of ocean animals. Then we watch a short Youtube video to get us started. There are tons you can choose from. Here is a favorite of mine.
Now that students have an understanding of several different types of ocean animals, I like to complete an All About Ocean Animals Activity. This is where we focus on facts about each ocean animal like what they can do, what they have, and what they eat. We also learn about their characteristics, babies, and habitat.
Each animal has an “about me” flap in the lapbooks. We cut and paste the flap for each animal we are going to discuss.
I usually focus on sharks, dolphins, whales, seahorses, and crabs. This gives us a good variety and the kids usually have some prior knowledge of each of them.
We work with partners for this activity. They review ideas with each other, and then we share them as a class.
After compiling our list together, we fill out our flaps and glue them into our lapbooks. After finishing up this activity, they get to color their flaps and make them extra special.
Label Your Ocean Animals
Now that we have our lapbook loaded with tons of great information about our ocean animals, it’s time to break it down a little further and label each of our animals. Before we jump into this activity, I like to play a little game of Swat for some review.
Swat is super easy to play. All you need is two fly swatters or pointers. Call two students up to the board and pick 2 ocean animals to review. For example, you may focus on whales and dolphins first. You will need to write the name of the two animals on your board. Read a fact or description aloud about the animals. The first student to swat the name of the correct animal wins the round.
My kids always love this game, and it’s a quick and easy way to review before jumping into another activity. Once everyone’s gotten a turn and reviewed what we need to, we break out our lapbooks again. I let them choose two of the ocean animals we’ve discussed to label.
They cut them out and glue them on their lapbooks with the labels in the correct spot. Then they color them, of course! This is a great time for me to informally assess their progress. I walk around the room as they are completing this activity and spot-check their work.
Adjectives & Vocabulary
It’s time to wrap it up! I like to do this by completing an activity with adjectives and vocabulary. By now, they should be familiar with a variety of adjectives to describe each of their ocean animals from all of our discussions and activities.
I love to add a flap to our lapbook about seahorse adjectives. The kids get to cut, color, and describe seahorses with all of the knowledge they’ve just acquired.
Now is a great time to review the new vocabulary we’ve learned. And guess what? There’s a flap for that! We add words like:
- and ocean
to our lapbooks! I love to take some time here and have students explain the meaning of each vocabulary word to me in their own words. This is a great way to assess if they truly understand the vocabulary word and its meaning.
Even More Fun Ocean Animal Activities
The fun doesn’t have to stop here! There are many other activities you can complete with your students depending on their levels and the amount of time you have available. Here are some of my favorite activities from the Ocean Animals Lapbook Resource:
- Shark adjectives
- Whales can/have/eat
- Label the crab
- Seahorse KWL chart
- All about dolphins
- Ocean creatures fun fact booklet
- Ocean animal writing prompts
- Favorite ocean animal class graph
Grab one or all of these activities to explore life in the ocean with your students! They’ll love every minute of it and come out with so much knowledge of ocean animals and sea life.
Grab This Done-for-You Ocean Animals Resource
You can find all of these activities and more in my Ocean Animals Lapbook Activity Resource. It is available in both digital and print formats. Pick the one that works best for you and your class. I love the digital version for students who are absent or need some extra technology practice.
Looking for More Science Lapbooks?
Check out some of my favorite ways to engage your students in science lessons with these lapbooks.
Save it for Later
Be sure to pin this image to your favorite science board so you are all set and ready to teach fun ocean animal activities.