Have you ever seen the movie Jaws? We saw it in the theater when it first came out (aging myself there). I still remember the feeling I had when the lady at the very beginning decides to go swimming -at night time. AT NIGHT TIME! In the ocean.
I didn’t even need dramatic music to know this was going to forever change the way I feel about swimming in the ocean.
Years later, I still do not venture into the ocean, but it’s more about the waves and the sand than sharks. Turns out- sharks are really interesting and kids love learning about them.
So, let’s talk about ways I can help you with transforming your classroom for Shark Week!
My first grand adventure with my husband was a move from our home state to Jacksonville, Florida. We lived about 10 miles from Atlantic Beach, but we found a much better and less congested beach to visit. We trekked down A1A to South Ponte Vedra Beach.
Now, I have already told you I do not like the waves and the sand, but what we did discover on those beautiful beaches along A1A is Shark Teeth!
We collected all sizes and shapes of shark teeth and found them while just strolling along the water’s edge.
The photo gives you a tiny glimpse of our collection. It was not unusual to find 20-30 teeth in just one visit to the beach. I placed a dime next to some of the teeth just to give you an idea of the size of some of the ones we found. Just imagine the size of the shark that had those enormous teeth! I used this little jar in my third-grade classroom all the time. Kids were totally fascinated by the different shapes and sizes and they loved to hear about how sharks shed their teeth and replace them.
Need Some Posters?
One resource I can share with you is all about sharks and it features task cards, but it also has a small set of shark posters.
The set has images of sharks and then some shark trivia- just take a look above. Did you know there is a shark that can swim 50 mph?
Speaking of Task Cards!
I started creating these task card sets out of a need in my third-grade class. We subscribed to a magazine that arrived weekly and we spent an afternoon poring through the articles and learning. I loved the articles because of the chance they provided for kids to use text features.
We marked the text features and read all the articles, but sometimes I needed an article that accompanied whatever we were currently studying…. like sharks.
So, I started creating my own magazines! In the photo above you can see the magazine pages and the articles about sharks. I marked the text features with alphabet letters. The task cards ask students to identify text features or asks basic comprehension questions.
I even added some open-ended task cards. Students have to complete extra research, or draw tables, or make a timeline. How fun is it for kids to get excited about a topic (like sharks) and draw a detailed chart comparing the sizes of sharks? #loveit
Can You Escape?
Another fabulous and highly engaging activity we just love is anything to do with Escape Rooms! When I first started creating these task-related escape rooms my students just could not get enough of them! I could not invent them fast enough. One of the first ones we tried featured… you guessed it- SHARK WEEK!
In my Escape Rooms, students solve puzzles, complete math problems, use map grids, solve a secret code message, and more!
In this one about Sharks, students complete a math sheet to find a lock code. They put together a shark puzzle for the second lock code. For the last lock code, they travel over a world map to locate a clue.
We use a plastic tool box and number locks that they actually have to open to get their task for the next step of the escape. In the end, it is even more spectacular.
After the last box is opened we move right into a STEM Challenge. The activity for sharks is to design a shark cage.
We do this in a very positive way! I make sure to let students know that the sharks are not being trapped in a harmful way. The sharks are being caught to move them to a safer place.
Need a Reading or Writing Task?
I have you covered with these, also!
First is a Little Flipper set. Students complete pages of a 5 x 8 flipper booklet that is all about sharks.
This resource also has shark posters!
I also have a Print and Read set about Sharks!
This set has four reading passages (in two ability levels) and a newspaper sheet with more articles. Each passage has a comprehension sheet and there are answer keys for you!
Are You Ready to Tackle Shark Week Now?
I hope I have given you a few ideas! Whenever you schedule a study of sharks I have activities already planned, designed, and ready to go for you.