A program of the Lawrence Hall of Science that seeks to increase ocean literacy through informal and formal education initiatives
Marine Activities, Resources & Education

Curriculum Description

The Third Grade MARE curriculum includes themes of organism diversity, habitat edges, and animal adaptations. The brief descriptions below will provide a sense of the Wetlands activities. For a more detailed description, download a PDF file of the Synopsis and Key Concepts of each activity.

Download a session-by-session timeframe for teaching Wetlands
Download the California State Science Education Standards Correlation (140k .pdf) for the Wetlands or order curriculum

Activity 1: Build a Wetland Estuary  3 Sessions

Students take field notes during a virtual field trip and then transform the classroom into a wetland estuary as pairs of students make 3-dimensional organisms based on a Wetland Information Card they are assigned.

Download a Wetland illustration for student note-taking (171k .pdf)

Activity 2: Estuary Life  3 Sessions

Students learn about wetlands and estuaries as they listen and delve into the lyrics of the song "Estuary Life" by the Banana Slug String Band. They participate in a jigsaw activity using Estuary Life Content Cards containing additional information about the lyrics, relating especially to new vocabulary or content. Students then participate as contestants in a Game Show to check for understanding.

Activity 3: Oyster Beds  3 Sessions

This activity uses a content rich approach to increasing literacy skills. Students in small groups make observations about oyster shells and communicate their observations to other students with words or drawings. The activity concludes with students writing collaborative and individual poetry using the word walls filled with new and descriptive vocabulary gleaned throughout the entire activity.

Activity 4: Clams Inside and Out  4 Sessions

Students learn about the structure, biology, and natural history of clams by coloring, cutting out, and constructing a 6-page clam “Bivalve Booklet.” Students then dissect a real clam to find the parts they learned about with their Bivalve Booklet.

Activity 5: Crayfish Investigations  3-5 Sessions

Students are guided through a full open-ended inquiry in five sessions. Students are first introduced to an Inquiry Journal and focus on making observations, sketching and asking questions about crayfish, and categorizing them as investigable or not. Small groups of students choose their question and plan their investigation. 

Activity 6: Salinity Currents  3 Sessions

Students in small cooperative groups make observations and participate in discussions about two bottles of water—one salty and one fresh. Students then design and carry out an investigation to determine which is which, using only the limited materials given to them on a tray.

Activity 7: Bird Beak Buffet  3 Sessions

Students role play species of birds with beaks of different shapes and sizes. They gather different food items with their beaks, graph the results and compare their feeding success.

Order Now, Grade 3 Wetlands

Wetlands Teacher Guides may be ordered at our online store or directly from MARE.