Ocean Animals

Teacher.org Staff
Lesson Plan Team

This lesson is designed to help students identify and sort common words in basic categories.

Grade Level: Kindergarten


Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

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Common Core Alignment

CCSS: ELA-LITERACY.L.K.5.A - Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to identify and classify sea animals by listening and answering questions about a text, sorting sea animals into categories, and discussing sea animal with partners.

Materials Needed

  • computer
  • internet
  • "Way down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea" by Jan Peck
  • various picture cards of both land and ocean animals


Opening to Lesson

Read Way down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea. (Ask questions about key points in the book - evaluation).

Body of Lesson

Direct Teaching

Show various picture cards of both land and sea animals to the class and ask individuals to name the animal as a land animal or a sea animal-or both. (Point out features on some of the animals shown and ask why a certain animal might be better suited for land or for the ocean- i.e. practice distinct vocabulary of body parts: fins, flippers, legs…)

Guided Practice 1

Give each pairtable partners a picture of an animal and ask them to decide with their partner if it is a land or sea animal. Next, ask students to go to one side if they have a land animal and the other side if they have a sea animal. (Have students explain and discuss as a class why or why not they have which animal.)

Guided Practice 2

Have students return to their seats, Give everyone a new picture and have them discuss with a partner if they’re land or sea… Then ask students to stand up if they have a land animal, sit if they have a sea animal, stand if their animal is blue and sit if its green…etc. Continue asking questions and having students clarify as you go… i.e. “Who knows what a fin is? Can you sit if your animal has a fin?” (Provide additional opportunities for practices as needed, and observe)

Independent Practice

Have students return to their seats, collect the animals, then hand out bags of only sea animals to pairs of children. Ask students to sort by fins and feet, then blue and yellow, then big and small… etc. How many ways can they sort? (Write on the board the different ways they sort, use proximity to walk around the room and provide assistance as needed)


Add to K.W.L. chart as students volunteer to share their findings and different ways they decided to sort. (Provide time for reflection and assessment, and review final handouts.)

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Assessment & Evaluation

Through guided questions, close monitoring and informal observation; the teacher will be able to assess student’s ability and understanding of the subject being introduced. Through individually assessing and reviewing as students sort and discuss, as well as eliciting responses when finalizing the KWL chart, the teacher will be able to evaluate students.

Modification & Differentiation

This lesson is very hands on, active and social. While this means it may require a certain skill set, it also allows for multiple modifications and adaptations. For example, higher-level students and the lower level students will be paired together in order to help each other as a team. In addition, English learners can be asked to simply sort according to what the teacher asks, where gifted and advanced students can have the freedom to create their own categories of sorting.

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