Sunday, May 27, 2012

Under the Sea in the Style of Montessori

Under the Sea in the style of Montessori

The warm weather, the birds singing in the trees and the smell of flowers in the air always gives me and the kids the summer itch.  We are all screaming to get outside and have fun.  One way that I try to tame the Summer Itch is by bringing summer into our classroom.  We have 2 weeks left of school and our last unit is under the sea.  We have transformed our classroom into an underwater playground.  We study a different sea life animal everyday and extend the learning by adding a new work to our shelf and by making a corresponding craft or art project.  We have studied whales, sharks, and rainbow fish.  Tomorrow, we will be learning about crabs.  We will continue our study with sea horses, star fish, octopus, walruses and jelly fish.  Keeping the kids engaged and making learning fun right up to the very end of the school year is challenging but necessary.  Hopefully these ideas will give you some inspiration for last minute centers or works to add to your classroom or shelves at home. 

For the last month we have been reviewing the skills we have learned throughout the year.  The works that are out on the shelves for this unit are also a review of skills already learned.  As the weather permits we will bring school outside often.  Here are some pictures of what we are working on this week. 
This is our Sea Life Sensory Box.  I make a new sensory box for every theme.  This has crinkle paper, beans, small blue and green pasta, blue sand and sea life creatures.  There are scoops, buckets and tongs for the kids to explore and practice scooping, tonging and tweezing skills. 
This is a basic counting and matching Montessori Work.  The children will match the number of shells to the correct number and place them in numerical order.  It will reinforce one to one correspondence and numerical order. 
Here is a sea shell transfer using tongs and star fish ice cube trays.  This work although basic will reinforce one to one correspondence, left to right tracking, fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.
For Alphabet matching I wrote upper and lowercase letters on these shells.  The children will simply match the shells with the matching letter.
After we read "The Rainbow Fish" I put this work on the shelves.  It is shapable foam similar to play dough and colored gems to make the Rainbow fish. 
These are real starfish that have been dyed. The children sort and grade these. They have been working with knobless cylinders all year, this is an extension to the same skills used for grading knobless cylinders.
For this art, I gave the children squares of foil paper and a cd. They cut out the foil pieces and placed them on the fish wherever they chose. They also put the cd anywhere on the fish. This child chose to use the fish for part of the eye and put a wiggly eye in the center. I thought that was pretty clever!
These are just a few of our Sea Life Works. If you would like to see more works and art that we are doing for our Sea Life unit you can visit

 I have a Sea life pinterest board with a ton of fun ideas that could also be used at home throughout the summer.
Rachel Supalla is the mother of 4 kids ages 3-9. She has taught preschool and Kindergarten for 15 years. Rachel is a Montessori certified teacher and director. She owns Discovery Kidzone Montessori Adventures where she blogs about teaching in a Montessori school and homeschooling. Rachel homeschools her daughter who has ADHD.  Rachel is also the owner of Discovery Kidzone Montessori School.  You can contact Rachel on facebook at Kidzone Teacher Mama and you can find her pinning on pinterest here!


  1. Great activities for the end of the school year, Rachel! I love the Floam rainbow fish! Your rainbow fish art is very cool, too! I added one of your photos and post link to my Montessori-Inspired Ocean Unit at

  2. fantastic idea! my 3yo daughter will love it! she's been playing this iphone game with fish called "mermaid waters" and will appreciate such a sensory box :)


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