Resorting to Movies?

Jaws Poster
Ooey Gooey Animal GutsDeadliest Catch
Inspire kids to love the ocean with KELP activities!

- By Shelley Brown, PhD, Education Director

Rain and thunderstorms are rolling in and you have to find an indoor activity to do with your group of kids. Are you reaching for the movies Morning Light, Wind, Finding Nemo or Andre to keep those bundles of energy occupied?

Scuttlebutt Sailing News recently posted a very funny article entitled “The day I showed ‘Jaws’ at sailing camp”. If you’ve seen Jaws, picture the faces of a group of 11 and 12 year olds watching the opening scene. As you can imagine, the students were not too enthusiastic about sailing in the harbor the next day and we can only imagine the parents’ reaction. Many people have probably been in the same boat before, after exhausting all of their indoor games, resorted to playing a movie for the kids.

What if there were easy to teach, fun and educational activities for your students? Our Kids Environmental Lesson Plans (KELP) help students understand the ocean’s influence on them and their influence on the ocean. Downtime onshore is the ideal opportunity to excite and teach kids about the waters they sail on. With simple materials and minimal preparation, students will learn about what sharks actually eat (not humans), marine pollution, overfishing, life underwater and much more through these engaging activities. And you don’t even need a science degree to teach them! KELP are free and downloadable from our website, just register at: sailorsforthesea.org/programs/kelp.

Do you want to excite your students about sharks and the marine food chain? Check out “Ooey Gooey Animal Guts”. Students dissect a gelatin-dessert-filled plastic glove “stomach” and identify what type of marine consumer it is by examining the prey items they discover inside the stomach. All you need is gelatin dessert, water, cups, disposable gloves, rubber bands, scissors, tweezers and marine prey cards (included in the kit). The activity does need to be set up the night before to allow for the gelatin to set. After investigating multiple stomachs, students can work together to figure out the marine food chain (AKA who eats who). Scientists use this method in real life too!

Another one of our popular KELP kits, “Deadliest Catch”, only requires two types of candy (e.g. Swedish fish and M&Ms), straws, spoons and bowls. One candy will represent larger fish that bring in more money and the other will represent a smaller less profitable fish. Teach students about the effects of advancing fishing technology, such as long line fishing, on fish populations through changing the utensil and method of picking up the candy. To supplement the activity, visit Fishing and Farming Methods on Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s website to see images and videos of the wide range of gear fishermen use to land their catch.

Instead of playing a movie on the next rainy day, introduce your students to the magic of the ocean through a KELP activity and help create the next generation of ocean stewards.