READY TO ROW:
It’s become tradition to end our school year with an ocean-themed book. This year we chose to row Gramma’s Walk.
We started off our row with “coastal cakes” (pancakes) for breakfast. My friend Heather inspires me to add “foodie fun” into our learning adventures!
Our story basket is usually filled with thematic elements to enhance and add a little dash of excitement to our learning adventure!
I filled out story basket with seaweed snacks and MANY different kinds of ocean gummies! We were ready to embark on our next FIAR row!
I set out a fun sensory bin with our Safari Ltd Ocean TOOB , rocks, shells, sea glass, and more!
I made sure that everyone had their own basket of shells, sea creatures, rocks, and sea glass.
I ask the kids to create a cover page in their FIAR notebook for each book we row. There are no rules, other than to base their drawings on the illustrations and/or theme of the book and they must write both the author and illustrator’s name.
It’s always fun to see their artistic “take” on their cover page. Haley completed her Sonlight studies and joined us for this entire row.
We prepared our Ocean Zone Charts, so we could add sea creatures as we walked the shoreline with Gramma and Donnie.
The kids wrote their names on their charts and glued the labels on each ocean zone flap. They were ready to sketch through this row!
I created a Bible Memory Verse Printable Pack for this book.
The first day, the kids traced their Bible verses.
Then I cut their Bible verse puzzles apart. They glued them together in their FIAR notebooks.
We chose Florida as the setting for this story. We explored this beautiful state, focusing on the coastal areas.
We read a couple of books about Florida and I brought out a few Florida activities for the kids to work on.
The kids completed their Florida activity page in their State Farm books.
I also gave them a Florida puzzle to add to their FIAR lapbooks.
While reading about the Gulf Coast, I brought out our Landform Cards (The Helpful Garden) and foam landform pieces I created.
The kids built a peninsula and gulf using our foam pieces. Afterwards I had them sketch, label, and color the landforms we read about.
We talked about encouraging others while rowing this book.
We read God’s Boredom Buster Plan and talked about how helping others is an encouragement to everyone involved. It’s amazing how helping others helps yourself in the process. It’s always a good idea to get your mind off yourself!
We read several sweet books about grandmas.
Afterwards, the kids made their Teta (Grandma) cards to encourage her since the “shelter in place” mandate keeps us from seeing eachother.
We read a few segment’s from Joy Berry’s Good Answers to Tough Questions About Physical Disabilities book.
After reading, I brought out a safety sign bingo game (Education.com) that included the handicap sign.
Afterwards, we played several rounds of bingo. Who doesn’t love a good game of bingo?
I created a Gramma’s Walk Story Review pack with a backtracking worksheet.
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.
First we read Tell Me the Day Backwardsthen I handed out copies of the “Good-Bye, Shoreline!” worksheet for the kids to complete.
The kids strengthened their memories as they put in order all the things Donnie and Gramma said goodbye to.
We read Incredible Peepers of Penelope Budd, The. This was a wonderful book about a little girl with a great imagination and an ability to see things most people would miss!
I created a Seaside Compound Words worksheet activity in our Gramma’s Walk Story Review pack.
The kids matched and colored the compound words, although some were pretty tricky! They used the second worksheet to record any compound words they heard as we read the story that day.
A House for Hermit:
I created a House for Hermit math pack a few years back.
I printed the worksheets for the kids to use after reading A House for Hermit Crab.
Later, the kids completed their match and color. This was a great story retention exercise. It was hard for ME to remember what happened each month!
We reviewed the ones they missed then they completed a follow-up retention exercise the next day.
Each year, we explore the ocean zones. We used our 3-D Explorer: Oceans book as our reference guide.
This year we started our ocean zone exploration with the shoreline.
From Sea to Salt:
Since the boys were studying salt water evaporation in their Sonlight studies, we started our journey to the sea here.
We read From Sea to Salt (Start to Finish, Second Series) and did a salt water evaporation experiment.
I set out the needed supplies in the kitchen.
While mixing our hot water and salt, I instructed the kids to close their eyes and smell the “salty air”.
After a few days, our salt water evaporated. It left behind beautiful salt crystals. Before exploring the result, we read Why the Sea is Salty.
The kids used the magnifying glass to check out the beautiful crystals.
Afterwards, we tasted some Dark Chocolate sprinkled with sea salt.
Next, we read A Day in the Salt Marsh and talked about how the fresh water and salt water meet here.
Last year, we did a fresh water meets salt water experiment while rowing The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge.
I decided to use Clam-I-Am!: All About the Beach (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) as our reference book to study the beach habitat.
I created a Clam-I-Am Little Lapbook book companion last year that we used for this unit.
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.
We slowly added the lapbook inserts as we explored every part of the beach habitat.
We also read several fun books about the beach and intertidal zone.
The Wise & Foolish Builders:
While studying the beach, we read The Wise and Foolish Builders – Arch Book (Arch Books).
We took some time learning about sand and coastal erosion.
We read Jump Into Science: Sand and Watched several clips about erosion on our Gramma’s Walk playlist.
After our Wise & Foolish Builder devotion and watching clips about coastal erosion, we saw the danger of building near shifting sand.
I challenged the kids to create a plan to build a sand barrier to prevent coastal erosion.
After planning their structure on paper (Twinkl), the kids used various supplies (e.g. craft sticks, play-doh, string, rocks, and pipe cleaners to bring their plan to life).
Their structure must stand up to both the wave test and the storm test.
We simulated waves lapping against the shore for a couple of minutes. All structures passed this test.
The next test simulated a storm by running “shower” droplets over the structure for a couple of minutes.
This test was harder on the structures than the first.
All structures passed this test, but there was some damage. This experiment showed that having plants, fences or other structures helps prevent or slow down coastal erosion.
I found this God made the sea, the sand, and me book while shopping online. I was excited to add it to our beach unit.
I thought it would be fun to make sand slime since we were reading and studying the shoreline.
The kids helped measure and mix the ingredients.
This was a really cool slime recipe. The texture was cool without too much stickiness.
After a week, the sand settled to the bottom, but we dumped it out into a bowl and Jordan was able to mix it up to its original consistency. SUPER cool!
I thought it would be fun to make tracks in the sand. I added sand and lotion to the snow dough we made while rowing Daniel’s Duck. It was PERFECT for this activity!
I set out our sand dough, plates, wood tools, and track cards for this activity.
The kids had fun making tracks like Donnie and Gramma saw on their walk.
Since we were exploring the beach, we took a moment to study sea gulls.
We read Gulls . . . Gulls . . . Gulls . . . by Gail Gibbons.
The kids used the sand dough to make a gull’s nest with eggs.
Afterwards, the kids sketched a seagull using Gail Gibbons’ illustrations in the book.
We wrapped up this unit by reading Jane Yolen’s On Gull Beach on our Epic app.
First, we read What Lives in a Shell? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1).
Afterwards, the kids took turns sorting the shells.
We read Jim Arnosky’s Beachcombing Exploring the Seashore. This is our absolute favorite seashore science book!
Afterwards, the kids took some time making digital and paper sketches.
The Five Senses:
We read Curious George Discovers the Senses (science storybook) together on the couch.
I created a Curious George Discovers the Senses Story Review.
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store. There’s a bonus FREEbie in the Preview!
First we explored the sense of hearing. I found a few ocean animal sound clips and had the kids guess. This is always fun!
Next, we explored the sense of touch. I put a few shoreline items (smooth stones, sea glass, and shells) in paper bags and had the kids stick their hands in, feel around, and guess. This was also a simple & fun activity.
We continued our sense of touch using our “beach feet”! We stepped on sand and smooth stones just like Donnie and Gramma!
We wrapped up with our sense of taste. With eyes closed, the kids enjoyed a couple rounds of Guess the Beach treat (coconut and pineapple). This is ALWAYS a favorite (as long as the item is delicious)!
The Intertidal Zone:
We inched closer to the sea as we explored rock pools in the intertidal zone.
We started our exploration reading Anna Milbourne’s On the Seashore (Picture Books).
Tide Pool Art:
I set out large sheets of paper, colored pencils, our shell cards, and a few books for inspiration.
First, the kids used pencil to sketch their own unique tide pool.
The next day, I set out their watercolors and they painted their tide pools.
Tide Pool Cookies:
It’s always fun to add baking activities into our learning journey. Haley is the resident baker, so she took the lead on this activity.
Initially, I thought about making a thumbprint style cookie with a jelly center, but Haley thought they might bake a darker color.
She whipped up a batch of snickerdoodle dough. The cinnamon sugar was sand-like and perfect for a tide pool base.
I added two shades of blue frosting and the kids added the rest! They were pretty and delicious!
We also read Sneakers, the Seaside Cat. This is another one of our favorite beach books!
We took our shoes off and stepped closer to the lapping waves.
I read our definition cards while the kids color coded their “beach feet”.
Before running with the waves, we made a quick stop at the lighthouse on the shore.
We talked about the history of the lighthouse and other facts using an All About Lighthouses presentation (Twinkl). I printed a copy of our Label the Lighthouse worksheet from our Gramma’s Walk Story Review pack.
You can purchase your copy or download the FREE Label the Lighthouse worksheet in the Preview.
The kids colored and labeled their lighthouses. Later, we cut them out and added them to our FIAR notebooks.
We read The Lighthouse Keeper: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Breakfast, another story from the Lighthouse Keeper’s series. (Just a little warning, the charming Mrs. Grinling was a bit off-color as she proudly cursed like a pirate, although no exact words were mentioned.)
We also read a GREAT devotion about God’s light clearing the fog of this world from our Indescribable devotional.
The Surface Waters:
We were ready to jump into the sparkling blue surface waters!
I created a Curious George Chasing Waves Story Review pack last year.
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.
We read Curious George Chasing Waves (CGTV 8×8) together.
Afterwards, the kids completed their story review worksheets.
We read Under the Sea by Anna Milbourne. This is a great sit and soak it in couch book. The illustrations are just beautiful!
Haley made a bright blue ocean slime while Jordan made a tropical ocean slime.
The Wind & Waves:
The ocean is beautiful, strong, and scary; however, we know the master of the wind and waves.
We couldn’t face the ocean waves without reading Jesus Calms the Storm (Arch Books) while the kids ate breakfast.
After breakfast and quite “spir-of-the-moment”, I created a “What is in Seawater?” lapbook page for the kids to fill out. This was a really cool activity that wasn’t planned!
The kids used their merka Kids Placemats Educational Placemat Non Slip Reusable Plastic Periodic Table Elements Chemistry Science Poster as reference to complete the page.
Since we were learning about the deep blue ocean waves, we read The Specific Ocean on our Epic app.
The kids labeled the Pacific Ocean on their world maps.
Later we read Rocking the Waves from Louis Giglio’s Indescribable devotional for kids.
Ocean Zones Lapbook:
I chose to use Wish For a Fish while studying the Sunlit Zone all the way down to the Abyss.
Last year, I created a Wish For a Fish Little Lapbook printable.
You can purchase a copy here at our TPT Store.
I printed and prepared the lapbook inserts for each zone we studied.
I also brought out a felt map activity on our Learning Lane. I found this map at the Target dollar bins. Parker and I worked on labeling the five oceans.
The Coral Reef:
Most of the creatures in the ocean are found in the coral reefs.
We took a moment to play “seek and find” in the coral reef using our 3-D Explorer: Oceans book.
We also read several beautiful books about coral reefs around the world. I printed our Label the Coral Polyp for the kids to color-code.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.
I glued the coral polyps in their FIAR notebooks and they color-coded them.
We read about coral reefs around the world and the kids colored them in on their world map.
Coral Reef Krispies:
It’s become tradition for us to make coral reef krispies each time we study the ocean.
I set out all the ingredients on the kitchen counter.
I heated up the butter and marshmallows then the kids helped mix in the colors and Rice Krispies.
Haley mixed the purple, Bub mixed the Blue, and I mixed the coral.
We put scoops of our mixture in silicone molds and shaped them to look like corals. Later we added them to one container and they looked SO pretty, just like a coral reef!
Everyone picked out a piece of coral and added gummie stars and fish.
The Sunlit Zone:
We swam past the surface waters into the beautiful kelp forests, teaming with ocean life!
The Kelp Forest:
We read about kelp forests in our Ocean Explorer book. While in this habitat, I thought it would be fun to learn more about otters.
We read Otters under Water by Jim Arnosky. This was a really great book, but it was about river otters not sea otters.
Parker and I read Animals in Danger Sea Otters on our Epic app.
We had a “Kelp Forest” treat, a sampler of wasabi and sesame seaweed snacks and ocean gummies!
While the kids ate their snack, I read Slip The Otter (Look-Look). Unfortunately, it was ALSO about a river otter, but the kids still enjoyed the story.
I set out a “make your own sea otter” craft. I cut out felt tails and ears and grabbed pom-poms, buttons, and our hot glue gun. They took turns using the glue gun to assemble their otters.
They turned out really cute!
Swimming with Sharks:
The waters grow colder and it’s harder to see what’s swimming under you in the deep blue ocean. Swimming with sharks is NOT on my bucket list!
We read a shark themed devotion from our Indescribable devotional.
We started our shark exploration with a “shark attack” breakfast.
After breakfast, we read Sharks by Gail Gibbons.
Haley made a batch of blue Kool-aide play-dough.
The kids played with the dough while I read about sharks.
I brought out some gummy sharks to munch on while they completed their shark inserts in their lapbooks.
We ended our night with a “Feeding Frenzy” dessert!
The Twilight Zone:
As we entered the twilight zone, we chose to fix our attention on the deep sea.
This is Haley’s absolute favorite part of the ocean! She went to an abyssal exhibit with her Daddy when she was just six years old!
Of course we HAD to play a “seek and find” on the Life in the Shadows page of our 3-D Explorer: Oceans book.
The kids request that we end each school year with Night of the Moonjellies. With a nod to our favorite row, we turned our attention to the jellyfish.
I made the kids a jellyfish themed breakfast and prepared several fun activities for the day.
After breakfast, we sat on the couch and read A Jellyfish Is Not a Fish (Let’S-Read-And-Find-Out Science Book).
The kids sketched various types of jellyfish to add to their ocean zone charts.
We read that Jellyfish don’t have backbones so they’re considered invertebrates.
I set out a Vertebrate and Invertebrate sorting activity (The Helpful Garden) for the kids to work on.
The kids worked through their stack of animal cards.
We also read the Jellyfish page from Jim Arnosky’s Shimmer & Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life.
I added our Label the Jellyfish worksheet in their FIAR Notebooks.
The kids colored and labeled the parts of the Jellyfish while I read the definition cards (Montessori Print Shop) aloud.
Mixed Media Jellyfish Art:
I saw a really cool bubble painting idea (Early Learning Ideas) on Pinterest. I thought this would be the perfect background for our jellyfish artwork.
I set out the supplies we needed for our art project.
I mixed paint, dishwashing detergent, and water. This was the trickiest part. The consistency had to be just right, similar to crepe batter.
The kids took turns blowing bubbles.
After blowing a pile of paint bubbles, we placed the paper on top.
The kids took turns layering their paper in the different color paint bubbles.
I took the opportunity to add our “foreshortened circles” art lesson at this stage of the art project. This shape would be the beginning of our jellyfish.
I instructed the kids to start their jellyfish with a foreshortened circle and leaving puddles of paint near the bottom. The kids used various colors of paint to create their jellyfish.
They tilted their papers so the paint puddles dripped down like a jellyfish’s oral arms.
They continued to add colorful jellies, tilting their papers and letting the drops fall.
They looked pretty! I pulled out our paint pens to add some fun “embellishments”.
I used the paint pens to enhance the bells and added tentacles.
Haley added galaxy embellishments to her jellies.
Wrapping It Up:
We wrapped up our ocean zone learning adventure by reading about the Abyss and Trench.
We sat on the couch and played one last round of “seek and find” on the “Black Smokers” page of our 3-D Explorer: Oceans book.
We read a couple more ocean themed books before wrapping up our day!
Keeping with tradition, we ended the day with take-out sushi! Daddy ordered MANY different types of rolls along with teriyaki salmon, salad, and gyoza! It was a salt water feast, fit for any ocean enthusiast!
We ended our night with “Black Smoker TRENCHies”! Fresh homemade brownies with stacks of mini marshmallows and topped with a Swedish fish-head! The kids gobbled them up! It was another great end to another great year!
Ocean Ice Cream:
Haley thought it would be fun to make our own ocean-inspired ice cream.
We made vanilla ice cream, tinted blue. They mixed, measured, and shook their ice cream cups until a soft-serve ice cream appeared.
The kids added crumbled Oreo cookies. So pretty and so good!
I’m not really sure how soft pretzels tied into this row, but Chef Bub had a hankering and made it happen!
He measured and mixed his ingredients using the same soft pretzel recipe we followed during our Prayer For a Child BFIAR row.
After letting our dough rise, we shaped our pretzels and cut some pretzel nibs.
We dropped them in the baking soda bath then placed them on our baking sheet.
They looked a bit wrinkly this time around, but they smelled SOOOO good as they baked in the oven! We even tried adding some of our blue ocean salt crystals on top, but they didn’t stick!
Everyone agreed they were delicious! Great idea Bub…perhaps a boardwalk snack?
Gramma’s Walk Playlist:
As with our other rows, we created Gramma’s Walk Playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.
Gramma’s Walk Pinterest Board:
You can find most of the activities, ideas, and printables from this post on our Gramma’s Walk Pinterest Board.