Content Area: Science
Class time Required: 2 class periods
Overview and Purpose:
The shore, which is covered by sandy beaches, is
home to many sea creatures. This area is a very harsh
environment as it is at the mercy of waves and tides.
Tides are the regular rise and fall of water along the
beaches of the oceans. Tides vary from day to day as
the moons pull causes the sea water to be pulled towards
the shore. When the land faces the moon it is high tide.
When the ocean faces the moon, the water bulges out
away from the land and it is low tide. The suns gravitational
pull causes the difference in height of the day to day
tides. Every day water rises for about six hours and
falls for about six hours. The part of the shore between
high tide and low tide is called the intertidal zone
The marine animals that live in this environment have
to survive both in and out of sea water. They have to
deal with change in moisture, temperature, saltiness
and being covered with water during high tide and exposed
during low tide. During a rough wave some of the animals
can get dislodged if they dont hold on tight.
Barnacles and mussels attach themselves to rocks. Clams
burrow into the sand during high tide. The crabs follow
the waves to stay wet during low and high tides. Snails
and Mussels survive low tide by holding water inside
them. Only very hardy animals can survive in this environment.
Science Standard 7: Understand the structure
and functions of cells and systems in organism.
Benchmark: Knows that living things have features
that enable them to survive.
SEACO (Special Education Administrators of County Offices)
Students will have an understanding of the following
- To survive in a tide pool the animals
have to keep from getting washed away during high
- The animals have to keep from drying
out by the sun during low tide.
- The animals have to keep from being
eaten by predators.
Upon completion of this lesson the participants will
be able to:
Activity: High tide and low tide in a plastic pan.
- Students will identify tide pool animals.
- Students will recognize that the animals
have features to survive and thrive in a inhospitable
- Students will demonstrate their understanding
by being able to verbalize the three concepts mentioned
in the general goals
- Students will use hands on activities
to learn about the rocky shore habitat
| rocks and pebbles
| black or brown paint
| blue gravel
| potato halves
| modeling clay
| spray bottle
1. Show students pictures of tide pool animals. Give them
modeling clay to makes the tide pool animals. To make
sea urchins you cut a potato in half, paint it black or
brown, let it dry. Color some toothpicks the same shade
of black or brown. Now pierce the toothpicks into the
potato half all around to look like a sea urchin.
2. Fill basin half way up with sand. Spray the sand with
water. Have students with their hands flatten sand uniformly.
Now with fingers make a few depressions in the sand for
the tide pools and put some blue gravel in it. Have students
put rocks on one side of the basin, then arrange the tide
pool animals made by the students in the depressions in
the sand and by the rocks. Now pour water in the basin
about a couple of inches above the sand making sure not
to disturb the sand. Now you tilt the basin towards the
rocks to simulate high tide. Then tilt the other way for
low tide. point out to student the depressions filled
up with water at high tide and became dry at low tide.
1. Look up tide tables on the internet or the local newspaper
or weather channel, then have students make up their own
tide table. Have a sheet with four columns for each student.
The columns should be labeled where, day,
high and low. Then they can record
the tides every day. The students will notice each day
the tides occur about 50 minutes later than the previous
day. Students can learn to draw a simple graph
on tides or read one made by the teacher as a math activity.
2. Buy a basket of shells from a novelty store then have
students trace them and notice the colors and patterns
on the shells. Borrow a shell field guide from the local
library and identify the shells.
3. Have students do an IntelliPics activity. Click
here to open instructions for InelliPics
4. If possible take a field trip to a tide pool. it is
a good idea to have a magnifying glass to look at slimy
plants, tiny animals, snails, and barnacles.
1. Have students verbalize and tell their classmates
about how a chosen tide pool animal protects itself when
the tide goes out.
2. Students who are able to answer worksheet questions
can be given quizzes to answer.
3. Show students a variety of tide pool animals and have
them point out which features help them survive the harsh
environment of the tide pool.
4. Have students identify tide pool animals when there
are many different kinds of sea life in a poster or picture.
Have students make a story from the tide pool animals
view using Kid Pix or Hyperstudio for Reading and Language
Arts. Tide pool Scavenger Hunt worksheet can be used to
learn new vocabulary words for reading and language arts.
Let students build a Tide pool in a large cardboard box
for art class.
These lessons can be used for 2nd and 3rd grade students.
Tide Pool - Look Closer by Christiane Gunzi A Funfax
Tidepools by Diana Barnhart & Vicki Leon
Silver Burdett Press
Beneath the Waves by Norbert Wu Chronicle Books
One Small Square Seashore by Donald m. Silver McGraw-Hill
Shells - Eyewitness Explorers by Jennifer Coldrey
Publisher - Dorling Kindersley
Discovering Seashells by Douglas Florian
Publisher - Silver Burdett Ginn Inc.
Seashore Life on Rocky Coasts by Judith Connor
Behind-the-Scenes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium --
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Eyewitness Seashore -- DK Vision
Life In The Deep -- Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium web site
Acknowledgment: For the courtesy of allowing me
to use the flounder image
Photographer: Steve Canipe