Misunderstood Shark – Ocean Theme Lessons for 4 – 7 year olds

Another shark week is in the books! Great memories were made along with a little more knowledge about our vast oceans and their creatures. Ocean life was the theme for all of our studies this week. The following lessons were specifically created for my daughter in Kindergarten; however, my older kids joined in for some of the fun as well. 


We started off reading the super fun picture book, Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman. In this comical story, we followed around a jellyfish as he tried to interview a shark, all the while teaching real facts about sharks. 


To practice our reading skills and short vowel sounds we did this Vowel Fish Worksheet. You can find the free download at the end of Kindergarten Connection’s post.

More letter practice can be done in a game of memory using real seashells. Please see the Sea Shell Games below in the math section.


This year we are learning to sound out our words and write what we hear. First, we always draw a picture in our journal; then write about the picture. Sometimes I give directions on how to draw the subject while I draw it on the board. Other times I let her do her own drawing. Here is a picture of the drawing we did for shark: https://images.app.goo.gl/akc8MEwHMjbb3qkS7https://images.app.goo.gl/akc8MEwHMjbb3qkS7

Now shark may be a new word with new sounds. If this is the case, as it was with us, just teach one new sound. I taught my daughter the first sound, ‘sh.’ We will save ‘ar’ for another day. Therefore, we just wrote what we heard for “ar”, which was the letter r. Now we already know both c and k make the same sound. Therefore, when she guessed C, for the last sound in shark, I just asked for the other letter that makes the same sound. Our sentence was “The shark swims in the sea.” You can shorten or change this sentence to fit your child’s level. We sound out the words together and she tells me what letters to write on the board, while she writes them in her journal. I remind her to leave a finger space between the words.

Writing with WOW words

For older children or those with a higher level of writing, I like to have them create their own sentence(s). They are encouraged to look in the thesaurus for new words to describe the object. They can draw a picture as well, or they can find a picture in a magazine pasting it to the top of the paper. Above is a sentence my son wrote a few  years back in second grade.


Feed the Shark Goldfish Crackers – I found this cute activity at The Keele Deal

Sea shell Games – Here we are going to use real seashells to do some math.

  • Have your child put the shells in order from smallest to largest or vice versa. 
  • Patterns – Have your child create a pattern with shells. You can get them started if need be. Example: big, small, big, small… or big, small, small, big…
  • Put numbers on the back of the shells. With this the child can practice saying the number and copy it on paper. Or for more advanced work, a child can add or subtract the numbers drawn.
  • Memory – With either numbers or letters written on the underside of the shells (make sure to have 2 of each) set them out for a game of memory. Note if you are using letters, the pair can be made up of a capital and the lowercase counterpart.


Take a look at a map of the world, or globe, to locate the five oceans. Then print out this ocean song printable from Once Upon A Learning Adventure, and sing together while pointing out each ocean! (It is sung to the tune of Frere Jacque)


Will it float or sink? That is the question. We filled two jars with water. The first jar represents fresh water and we marked it as such. In the second jar, add 2 teaspoons of sea salt for every one cup. It is possible to use regular table salt as well. Table salt is pure NaCl, sodium chloride; whereas sea salt contains a small percentage of minerals. This jar should be marked as salt water.

Print out the Float or Sink worksheet, and have your child gather objects to test buoyance. We began with a hard boiled egg. We watched it sink in the freshwater. Then we dropped the egg in the saltwater. It also sank in the salt water, because the egg’s density is greater than the water at this point. Now for the fun part. Add more salt to the salt water jar until the egg is floating. Now the salt water is more dense than the egg so it floats. Our salt water no longer represents the average ocean but perhaps more closely represents the Dead Sea, which is almost 9 times saltier than the ocean (according to the National Weather Service). 

Now we are set to test our chosen objects in both freshwater and saltwater. Let the child first predict what will happen then put it to the test.


We made paper bag puppets! One can get creative with the color of the shark or can stick to the authentic color. Then put on an under the sea puppet show. We got our shark puppet printout from The Tucson Puppet Lady.

Coffee Filter Silloutes – We took this idea from Arty Crafty Kids, however, instead of using water color paints; we used dot markers on the filter. We dabbed the markers all over the filter leaving some white spaces. Next we sprayed the filter with water. This causes the colors to run; losing their circular shape and even blend into the other colors. Once the filters were dry we glued on the silhouette.


We listened to these songs while crafting. Then danced to them with our puppet sharks😄.

The Great Big Ocean    https://youtu.be/DKTh4A1UA7k

Hole in the bottom of the sea https://youtu.be/R1Qn2bcZRTo 

10 Little Fishies https://youtu.be/lf5lYxE0c5c

Baby Shark – Can’t learn about sharks without listen to this song at least once!😄

🦈Have a JAWsome time learning!🦈

Published by Home Study from the Grateful Heart

Welcome new friends. I'm Heather, a homeschooling mama raising three children alongside my husband. I love to walk our two dogs, photograph nature, and write poetry. As a family, we love reading together, creating art, sports and all things nature. We also enjoy sharing our learning experiences with friends and creating co-op opportunities. I enjoy writing about our homeschool adventures, as well as nature and sharing recipes. My heart is grateful for my family, our homeschool, our friends and homeschool community, as well as the nature around us. In addition to following my blog, you can find me on Facebook at Home Study from the Grateful Heart.

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