Beach Explorations:
A Curriculum for Grades 5-10

Classroom Advance Organizer

  1. Write the word "tidal pool" on the blackboard. Ask the students to brainstorm answers to the following questions.
    • What is a tidal pool?
    • What animals live in a tidal pool?
    • Do different collections of animals live in different tidal pools?
    • How is a tidal pool different from a puddle? A freshwater pond?
    • What are the advantages of living in a tidal pool? The disadvantages?
  2. Tell the students they're going to study a tidal pool at the seashore. Why would they want to sit quietly and observe a tidal pool? What might they find out? Review mapping skills.

Observing a Tidal Pool
After the students have had a chance to explore the seashore on their own, ask them to disperse to select a tidal pool. Ask them to sit down, find a comfortable position, relax, and be very quiet and still. They need to concentrate fully on what they see, hear, and smell. Look for all the different colors they can find. Look for patterns and textures. Smell the surroundings. Listen. After 15 or 20 minutes, have the students regroup, and discuss the following. What things did you see, hear, and smell? What colors did you see? What patterns did you see? What questions do you have? Did you enjoy the experience? Did anything surprise you? Explain. Have the students share their observations and questions and record their observations in their field notebooks.

Questions for Discussion
  • What colors are in tidepools? What patterns of coloration are on the plants and animals?
  • Where do the animals live in the tidal pool? What animals swim about?
    …are attached to rocks?
    …live on the bottom?
    …live among seaweed?
    …live in mud?
    …live in more than one place?
  • Are any animals eating? If so, what are they eating? How are they eating?
  • Do any animals establish territories? How could you find out?
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