Shark Free Resources
Amazing Free Resources to Start Your Homeschool Year with a Big, Fun Shark Day (or Week)
Everyone starts their homeschool year differently. Some of us ramp up slowly, starting with just a few subjects and adding more each week until we are in full swing. Others start it all on day one with a big jump. Some of us never quit, so we don’t really have a defined start.
Whether you school year-round, ramp up slowly, or start with a bang, there are advantages to including something fun and festive for the first day or week, whether it is the start of a defined school year, or you’re just starting back up after a week or two off.
Whether or not you want to start up with a shark theme, I encourage you to do something just a little fun or different on the first day back. Celebrate your freedom to learn at your own pace in your own way. We are blessed with amazing lives, where we can dedicate hours of every day in the pursuit of knowledge. Let’s celebrate learning.
This list of resources is meant to get those fun juices flowing, with a little dose of learning on the side. But no one has a giant budget for fun after they have purchased all the curriculum for the year, so I am sharing only free resources here, so the fun will be easy on your pocketbook.
Videos are a great way to introduce a subject, give your kids an overview, and get them excited about learning more. Ask your kids to think of additional questions they have while watching videos and help guide them toward the answers as you study further. Make sure either you or your student write down the questions (depending on age). Asking questions is one of the most important parts of a healthy learning environment.
Did you know the Eyewitness videos are available on YouTube for free? Time required 30 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwZ6lyfr9LE
I would say Eyewitness videos are a good resource for ages 5-12. (Although they are evolution based, this is one of the best documentary series I have found for kids, especially at this price point.)
Here is a shorter video about sharks from FreeSchool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfWMwG6aYzQ
(This one is 6 minutes and does not get into evolution.)
This video compares the sizes of different shark species to the size of a human diver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAxYebL_j1o
(This is 4 minutes)
These three crafts seem straightforward and do not require a lot of odd supplies (one does use a hanger). They will probably take 30-60 minutes, depending on which one you choose.
There is a nice variety of pages here: simple ones for young children, and pages with facts for older kids. I would allow 10-20 minutes to complete a coloring page.
Shark Biology (10-minute read) http://www.sharksavers.org/en/education/biology/shark-biology/
There are a variety of worksheets on this page, including writing assignments, research questions, word searches, and cryptic puzzles and codes. They are easy to view and print.
For Your Teens:
More detailed lessons with lots of science vocabulary and quiz questions after the lesson. https://www.pc.maricopa.edu/Biology/ppepe/BIO145/lab04.html
Not into sharks? Maybe start with a fun mini-unit study on something your kids are excited about. Don’t forget that one of your most important jobs as a teacher is to be curious, yourself. Happy Learning!
Marla Szwast lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband and six children. She has written articles for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She is the author of Stepping Through History: Starting With You!, and a semester long fifth grade science course. Both courses are published online at Schoolhouse Teachers membership website. She writes about home schooling, child development, neuroscience, and the history of education on her blog at: www.jumpintogenius.com, you can also follow her on Facebook @jumpintogenius, or Twitter @MarlaSzwast, or Medium.