Pre-K – Grade 3

Overview

Pre-K – Grade 3

Science Field Trip 1 hour

“A House for Hermit Crab” Lab
Grades K-1

Students will learn the difference between fact and fiction as they use lab equipment and our aquariums to compare and contrast live organisms with literary creatures from the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.

Science Field Trip 2 hours

“Big Al” Goes to Sea
Grades 2-3

“Big Al” comes to life on the R/V Sea Explorer, on a brief trip outside of the harbor to view the local sea lions. Student scientists learn about oceanographic equipment such as a drop camera, plankton net, and a benthic sampler while investigating marine habitats.

Science Field Trip 1 hour

“Big Al” in the Lab
Grades 2-3

Meet our “Big Al” fish as he searches for friends. Interact with interesting ocean creatures while conducting investigations in underwater adaptations, camouflage, and different types of habitats that exist below the surface of the sea.

Science Field Trip 1 hour

Good Tide Pooler Lab
Grades Pre-K - adult

A one hour lab program ideal for small groups (up to 25 participants) including homeschools, scout troops, and special education groups. The curriculum is based on the Good Tide Pooler Rules.

Distance Learning Site visit

If a Dolphin Were a Fish
Grades 2-6

Students investigate how a dolphin might be similar to a human, but different from other marine animals. Live animals, artifacts, and interactive activities allow the students to discover which characteristics are unique to mammals.

Science Field Trip 2 hours

Junior Scientific LiteraSEA
Grades 2-3

Consulting the literature before conducting an investigation is a common practice among scientists. After exploring four very “kid friendly” scientific papers, students use microscopes to learn about organism lifecycles, and dissect a squid to study adaptations and anatomy.

Science Field Trip 1 hour

Marine Mammal Lab
Grades 2-3

In this program, the book The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will be used to explore fact and fiction about whales. Students use microscopes to look at plankton and krill as they explore the diets of marine mammals, sort mammal and non-mammal artifacts, listen to sounds of whales, and look at fascinating whale “hitchhikers.”

Maritime Field Trip 1 hour

Pilgrim Tour
Grades Pre-K - adult

This walking tour explains the mechanics of the vessel and the voyage around Cape Horn as described by Richard Henry Dana in Two Years Before the Mast. Explore the ship in detail while learning about the shipboard life of sailors of the past.

Distance Learning Site visit

Safari into the Intertidal Zone
Grades Pre-K - K

Learn about the adaptations necessary for animals to survive in this harsh environment. Students interact with live sea stars, urchins, hermit crabs, and other local residents of California’s tidepools in this hands-on experience!

Science Field Trip 45 min. to 1 hour

Shore Crab to Tall Ships Self Guided Harbor Tour
Grades K-3

Free with paid program

Have you booked a 1-hour LiteraSea program and would you like to extend your time at the Ocean Institute? Take your students on a self-guided trip along Dana Point Harbor to discover evidence of tides, learn historic highlights of our tallship fleet, and find shore crabs among the rocks. This activity is free of charge, but you must be enrolled in a 1-hour K-3 program and reserve the needed materials with your program reservations.

Distance Learning Site visit

Smiley the Shark
Grades 1-3

Join us on this exploration that compares the feeding strategies of local marine organisms. After reading Smiley the Shark, students examine what and how different marine animals eat. Live tidepool animals and artifacts showcase the diversity of adaptations in the marine environment.

Distance Learning Site visit

Special Needs
Grades Pre K-12

Nine different programs are designed to meet your students’ interests and ability levels, whether you want the excitement of live marine animals or the challenge of a squid or fish dissection. Through observation and interaction, students will dive into the world of hands-on science! 

Distance Learning Site visit

Turtle Tracks
Grades 1-2

Using children’s literature, we present the challenges that need to be overcome for a turtle hatchling to survive. Students will learn about the efforts made around the world to maintain and improve sea turtle populations. The program includes a live freshwater turtle, a preserved sea turtle, live intertidal animals, and appropriate hands-on activities.

Science Field Trip 1 hour

Undersea ABCs Lab
Ages 4-5

Come learn the ABCs while exploring life in the ocean. Students will look, listen, and feel tidepool, kelp forest, and sandy bottom animals in our aquariums while learning their letters. Program activities include touching sea star Arms and Barnacles in the discovery pool and listening to unusual ocean sounds like Crashing waves and Dolphin squeaks. Program modeled after the book Into the A, B Sea by Deborah Lee Rose. 

Distance Learning 1 site visit typically includes three 50 minute sessions

Visiting Sea Camp
Grades K-6

Available June through August – Let Us Bring the Ocean to You!

Taught by our instructors at your facility. 
Experience the fascinating marine environment with the Ocean Institute’s Visiting Sea Camp Series. The Ocean Institute staff brings our hands-on science programs directly to your school or childcare center. Each program takes advantage of small class settings to maximize the level of interaction and learning. Let us foster an awareness and appreciation of the many amazing creatures found in our oceans.

Distance Learning Site visit

Your Shell is Swell
Grades Pre-K - K

Explore the beauty of shells from a variety of different creatures focusing on their size, shape, and their importance to the animals who live inside. Students will read Moving Day, a story about a hermit crab looking for a new home. They will then touch and observe live animals, all of whom live in a shell, and learn about why they need shells to survive.