Seashore experience

Creating rock pools and studying seashore life

seashore experience
Learning outcome

To collect and sort seashore creatures and plants.

Key Stubbington focus

Environment - seashore

  • For Key Stage 2
  • Duration 1 hours (whole morning or afternoon)
Success criteria
  • I understand that living things have different habitats
  • I can create an artificial rock pool that will provide each creature with all it needs to survive
  • I can plan, make and review my work with my group
  • Upper KS2: I can discuss a few adaptations of creatures that live in the intertidal zone
Session plan

Introduction (20 minutes)

In Great Chamber, use PowerPoint to introduce session on whiteboard.

  • Discuss the habitat of an intertidal zone, what the animals need and how they have adapted to living in this habitat (hard shells, movement, closing tightly or withdrawing into shells, etc.)
  • On some beaches, the tide goes out but some of the water is trapped in puddles (rock pools)
  • Explain that we will be creating our own ‘rock pools’ as we don’t have any natural rock pools to study. The children will be collecting live sea creatures that have been stranded in the intertidal zone and putting them into a tray filled with seawater. Don’t collect crabs, they can get crushed in the bucket and might wander out of rock pool and get squashed by feet!
  • Give examples of a univalve and bivalve and explain how the children will know if they are alive or dead
  • Discuss resources and their responsibilities.

All children to go to the toilet, put on wellies, an extra layer and waterproofs if needed.

Main (approx 90 minutes)

Once on the beach, show children the boundaries.  

Set Up Main Activity 1 (20-30 mins)

  • Trays filled with water by adults (using buckets maybe so the trays are stationary and less likely to be spilled)
  • Working in groups of 3, children collect animals and identify them using their key
  • Animals to be put down one end and seaweed at the other end to see if there is any movement/travelling of animals
  • Discuss with each group why the animals might move and therefore which animals are most likely to move
  • Trays to be left to settle

Other activities:

Teachers to choose two activities from the following ‘Seashore Activities’ list. These activities are a mix of developing teamwork and learning about the seashore.

Seashore Activities (all about 15 minutes)
  • Seashore Rainbow – Collecting natural objects in different colours and textures to make a group seashore rainbow on the beach
  • Seashore Scavenger Hunt – Using the keys, children try to find as many of the items as they can
  • Fossil Search – Focussed search for fossils along the shore line
    • Sandcastle challenge
    • Tallest
  • Best decorated
  • The Limpet Game – A game that helps the children understand about limpets and life in the intertidal zone
  • Migration Tag – A game that introduces and helps the children to understand bird migration

Plenary (20 mins)

When return to the activity, children check to see if there is any movement.

Discuss the results. Was this a fair test? (No, it may not have been the right type of seaweed, the tide was artificial i.e. was it created accurately, we may not have left the creatures long enough, we put them with predators that may have effected their behaviour, etc.)

Release the animals sensibly and safely.

Less able children:

  • Give them a physical example of what they are to collect and help them find the first few
  • Limit the specimens they need to find

More able children:

  • Children can collect a wider variety of specimens
  • They can discuss the intertidal zone as a habitat including a few problems that are faced by the animals that live there and how they have adapted to deal with these problems

Prior activities in school:

Find out what creatures on the beach would need to survive.

Follow up activities:

  • Create a sea creature/monster that lives in the intertidal zone
  • Explain how it survives (oxygen, food, shelter)
  • A visit to Titchfield Haven to see and identify birds including migrating species
Health and safety checks
  • Inhalers and epipens to be taken
  • Appropriate clothing should be worn including lots of layers in cold weather; hats and sun cream in hot weather
  • At all times, children should wear wellington boots
  • Stubbington member of staff will carry a mobile phone to enable incoming & outgoing contact
  • Stubbington member of staff will carry a whistle, throw bag and first aid kit
  • Children must not eat or put hands near faces. Hands to be washed immediately on return
  • Children must not throw stones
  • Children should be accompanied by a member of school staff when using public toilets
  • Regular head counts to be taken
  • There must be an adult to child ratio of 1:12 for all offsite visits (aged 8 and over)
  • Awareness of public
  • No paddling in water (supervised cleaning out of buckets at the end of the session)
  • Ensure boundaries for collecting are made clear to adults and children
  • Check games area for potential hazards as children are running on the sand