Beach Explorations:
A Curriculum for Grades 5-10

Chapter 5: Science Inquiries with Seashore Animals
In this chapter, students have several exploratory activities with living organisms. The chapter dwells on developing the science process skills of observing, predicting, inferring, measuring and recording, etc. In the process of discovery, students develop some understanding of living things, how organisms sense their environment, have attachment devices or locomotion, protect themselves from predators, and keep from drying out when the tide goes out.

Chapter 6: Rocky Shores
This chapter provides students with studies that show the great variation of rocky shores, from steep cliffs to almost flat platforms. The chapter examines zonation (spray zone, high tide zone, middle tide zone, low tide zone), and how seashore organisms are adapted to survive the living conditions of the rocky shore at each tide level. Students learn how to map, conduct transect studies, identify populations in each tide zone, and infer the factors that limit the distribution of organisms on a shore.

Chapter 7: The Cobblestone Beach
The cobble beaches protected by inlets and islands have little wave action, and are very different from those of the outer coast. This chapter examines how organisms are adapted to survive beneath the cobbles and boulders, and in the mix of loose sand, mud, and gravel under the cobbles.

Chapter 8: Sandy Beaches
The sandy shore, in contrast to the rocky shore, appears barren of life. But life does exist here. Most of the organisms, however, live beneath the surface. Students learn how sandy beach animals have adapted to the harsh conditions that accompany the changing water levels. This chapter describes some of these organisms and their adaptations.

Chapter 9: Saltwater Wetlands
The estuaries, salt marshes, and mud flats together make up one of the most productive of all ecosystems. They contain an abundant and diverse community of organisms. They also provide a nursery for many other marine and freshwater organisms. Students are introduced to some of the common organisms, and how organisms are adapted to specific environmental conditions. They develop techniques for studying how freshwater flooding and tidal cycles can cause wide changes in salinity, oxygen, and temperature.

Preview Pages


overview of each chapter
page 13, 14

sample lesson, tidal pools
page 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189

sample lesson, adaptations of surf-dwelling rocky shore animals,
page 222, 223, 224, 225

sample lesson, vertical zonation,
page 202, 203