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New Teachers Online: How-To Articles: Use New Technology to Reinforce Instruction

Underwater Adventure
Ann Stephenson

During the occasions when students become restless, such as the weeks before the winter holiday or spring break, it can be beneficial for everyone to spend time learning by way of group activities. These are not only fun, but also may pique the students’ interest and ultimately provide more knowledge about the topic being studied.

One method would be to take a “Cyber Trip” to a foreign area such as “underwater.” It is a wonderful scientific experience that provides children with the opportunity to explore places that may very well be our future source of food, medicine and other necessities and amenities of life. Such a trip may also cover many of the science benchmarks that are taught at the elementary and middle school level.

To begin, allow the children to brainstorm questions relating to underwater life. Complete their list with any others that seem relevant. Some examples would be:

  • How far does the sun shine underwater?
  • Is there life where there is no sun?
  • How old are the species underwater, and are they older than the fish that are closer to the surface?
  • How is the age of a fish determined?
  • Have any underwater fish become extinct? Why?
  • Can fish that live in really deep water survive in shallow water too?
  • Are there weather patterns underwater such as El Niño?

Write down enough questions so that each group of three or four children will have at least two questions to search.

Begin to look for answers by visiting www.ask.com or www.google.com. Look for free video clips on the websites.

The students should research their questions: taking notes, listing the websites found, and viewing the video clips. After all groups are finished, (this project can take several days) students will present their findings by asking the question, showing the website, explaining the answer, and then showing the video clip. A brief question and answer session may follow.

The students may present their findings by using a Smart Board in the classroom or by using computers or laptops with the children seated close to the monitors. If possible, conduct the presentation in the school computer lab or media center and invite another class.

Websites to visit:

National Geographic Kids Video Ocean Fairies
http://video.kids.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/kids/animals-pets-kids/invertebrates-kids/plankton-jelly-kids.html

History Made Every Day: Deep Sea Detective Videos
http://history.com/content/deepseadetectives/behind-the-scenes-video
Science Channel Videos: Heavy Metal Task Force: Nemo
http://science.discovery.com/videos/heavy-metal-task-force-nemo.html

Planet Green Videos: Protecting Our Oceans
http://planetgreen.discovery.com/videos/blue-august-protecting-our-oceans/  

PBS: Ocean Adventures Video
http://pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/video/

National Geographic :”under the ocean” search
http://nationalgeographic.com/search/?site=cms_ngkids&client=
cms_ngkids&proxystylesheet=cms_ngkids&output=xml_no_dtd&oe=UTF-8&q=under+the+ocean

Other explorations may include space, animals, or a foreign country such as one that has been in the news recently. Each group may also look for sites that encourage use of the computer to play math or word games related to the topic. To enhance this lesson you can engage the class in writing letters to an underwater explorer and serve “goldfish” crackers as a treat.

Do you have a question or comment about this article? E-mail me.

 

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