Marine Education: Elementary School
Our Elementary School Education Program offers both one-time and multiple visit curriculum. Save Our Shores understands the added value of hands-on learning experiences and therefore encourages teachers to couple our in-class curriculum with field opportunities.
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Activities and Presentations:
Mistaking Plastic for Food and Getting Out of a Bind: These two activities are most appropriate for the younger elementary school students and both are a fun way to introduce students to the issues of marine debris. Through a simulated activity, students are able to consider the effects of plastics in the ocean and on the beaches from an animal's perspective as they each act out a marine animal that has been hindered in some way by debris.
Perils of Plastic: Through a simulated activity where students are assigned a marine animal, students see first hand how difficult it is for animals to feed, especially when they are hindered by marine debris. Through three rounds of play, students must collect colored beads, representing their food source and track them on a calorie chart. In the later rounds, some students will be told that they have become entangled in a piece of plastic and therefore must not use their right hand to gather food. This is a fun activity that stresses the detrimental impact of debris on our marine animals.
Food Web: This activity is fun to engage upper elementary and middle school students. Each student is given a card with a picture of a marine animal and a description of what types of animals they feed on. As students form a circle, a ball of yarn is introduced, as students are asked to pass it along to an animal in the circle that they feed on. This is an effective way to help students understand the interconnectedness of organisms in the environment. In addition, booby trap cards will be introduced that simulate what happens when marine debris enters into the food web.
Habitat Board: This activity is great for younger elementary school students. Our habitat board displays various marine habitats such as deep sea, intertidal, tidepool, and beach. Velcro animals and items are handed out and students are asked to come up and place their item on the board where they think it lives. We have booby trap cards that are also handed out so that students must decide whether a soda can, plastic bag, or fishing line belongs anywhere on the board. This exercise helps teach students about the different habitats and animals in our Monterey Bay and also encourages them to think about things that do not belong in these habitats.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Power-Point Presentation: Recommended for upper elementary students and includes and introduction to watersheds, marine ecosystems, and the impacts of marine debris.
Watershed Basics: Demonstration based on a presentation using our watershed model to simulate how humans interact with their watersheds. Students are asked to share common examples of human activities on land and through the model can visually see how those activities impact the ocean when it rains. We include a discussion of the water cycle and its relationship to human actions.
Beach, river or campus cleanups: Students feel like part of the solution to marine debris when they participate in a cleanup. Cleanups are most impactful with a prior classroom visit, however basic concepts can be presented at the beach prior to the cleanup. Cleanups can be scheduled at a beach or river location close to your school or on your campus! To learn more about this valuable field component, visit our Beach & River Cleanup page
- Monthly Beach Cleanups
- Private & School Cleanups
- Adopt-a-Beach Cleanups
- Meet the Beach Adopters
- Earth Day
- July 4th & 5th
- Annual Coastal Cleanup Day
- Cleanup Calendar
Special Projects & Internships
- To Volunteer for Special Projects or inquire about Internships, email email@example.com