Set the scene by hanging the inflatable ocean animals from the ceiling. Tap into prior knowledge by having children share what they already know about turtles. Then encourage children to discuss additional things they would like to learn about turtles. Guide them in comparing and contrasting the toy turtles with any real turtles they may have seen. Then, children can match the turtles’ shells to the shapes on their backs. Prompt children to determine whether the toy turtles, crabs and fish have similar body shapes to any of the animals on the ocean animal cards. Finally, let the class play with the toy animals in the water.
Teach life science concepts alongside early math and literacy. Use the magnetic letters and board to spell new words related to ocean animals. Then, keep children active as they identify shapes, colors and animals and explore deductive reasoning with Jump ‘N’ Jam Jungle™. Children can then sort the classifying cards and compare Smart Splash® animals to photos of real animals. Encourage children to practice matching skills by comparing sand mold shapes to shapes on Jump ‘N’ Jam Jungle. For an extension activity, hang ocean inflatables in a writing center and have children write and illustrate ocean animal stories in their journals.