Once Upon a Seashore:
A Curriculum for Grades K-6

  1. How might slow-moving seashore animals such as snails, limpets, and chitons keep from drying out? How is a snail's operculum like a trap door? Why do hermit crabs use their large claws for blocking the entrance to the shell? (These animals withdraw into their shell. Limpets and chitons use their muscular foot to create a seal).
  2. How might seashore animals such as crabs, tidepool sculpins, and blennies, that are capable of faster movement, keep from drying out when the tide goes out? (They hide among seaweeds, live in tidepools, hide in crevices or under rocks, dip into the sand or mud, or move to deep water with the outgoing tide).
  3. How might seaweeds keep from drying out when the tide goes out? (Moisture-filled sacs, thick fleshy stems and blades, water-filled structures).
  4. Stress the point that not all seashore animals are left stranded out of seawater at low tide. Even at low tide every tidal pool contains a community of plants and animals. At low tide a barnacle out of seawater closes up tight, but a barnacle attached to the wall of a tidal pool may continue to sweep the water for planktonic food.
  5. Discuss the terms "high tide" and "low tide". Use the transparency "High Tide or Low Tide?" to reinforce the concept that seashore animals hide or close up tight at low tide, and search for food at high tide.

Dock Piling Drawings. Give the children Xeroxed copies of "A Dock Piling at High Tide" and "A Dock Piling at Low Tide." Ask the children to find the same organism in both pictures and color it the same color. Look for evidence that many seashore animals close up tight at low tide, and move about in search of food at high tide.

Paper dock piling constructions show animals in vertical distribution patterns. (See zonation, p.188.

Preview Pages


overview of each chapter
page 12, 13

sample lesson, hermit crabs
page 67, 68, 69

sample lesson, low tide
page 123, 124, 125

sample lesson, high tide
page 126, 127, 128

sample lesson, a trust walk
page 240