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title or topic of activity
of Marine Animals
||April Huff, Rob Wiruth,
Sean Keel, Caro Castro
This activity is a 20 to 25 minute station that is designed to
educate students about animals they might not have recognized as
conventional animals, as opposed to plants or algae. Animals eat
other organ isms, while plants and algae make their own food using
energy from the sun. Animals are consumers (eating other organisms),
while plants and algae are primary producers (producing their own
food and making food for animals).
For the first five minutes, the students distinguish between various
plants and animals using pictures of the different organisms. Next,
the students learn about marine animals with various feeding habits,
and then observe organisms in a large salt-water tank in CBS rm
511 to look at live specimens of corals and tube worms. Then the
students explore the feeding habits of the marine animals. The feeding
types include suspension, deposit, and filter feeding, plus predation
and scavenging. Finally, the students engage in a hands-on activity
demonstrating the various feeding habits of the marine animals.
These animals include tubeworms, barnacles, brittle stars, snails,
and hermit crabs. The students choose one animal they particularly
find fascinating and instruct the other students about what they
have learned about the animal.
|Grades 3-7 with a group size of 4-8
The scientific principles that the activity are based upon:
- This activity focuses on educating students about marine animals
that do not look like conventional animals.
- Define plants, algae, and animals and know the differences between
- This activity will appeal to student's curiosity, through hands-on
participation and interactive instruction. The students will work
individually and in small group exploring the feeding habits of
presented marine animals. After learning about a particular marine
animal, students will locate the organism in the salt water tank
and will summarize the animals feeding habits to their fellow
Background Information for
plants, animals, and algae
Animals are heterotrophic organisms, while plants and algae
are homotrophic. The main difference between plants and algae
are that plants contain two types of chlorophyll and receive
oxygen from the air, whereas most algae only have one type of
chlorophyll and receives oxygen from water.
III. Activity Two
- Divide students into four separate groups
- Assign each group a feeding habit (filter, suspension, deposit,
- Explain the rules of the activity
- The pieces of paper represent food that students are only
allowed to gather by their assigned feeding method
- Filter feeders use a hand held fan to blow pieces of paper
- Predators will be able to walk around to grab large pieces
- Suspension feeders use a sticky hand to snatch smaller
- Deposit feeder must creep slowly and can only pick up
paper on the floor.
- Let the activity go on for about a minute and then regroup
students for a discussion
- Ask the students about what their limitations were and how
this would affect where an organism can live in a marine environment
- Common Problems the instructor might encounter
- Student might be distracted by all the activity
- Horseplay could be problem during this activity
Background Information on
- Deposit feeders pass sand, mud, water or sediment into their
mouths using mucous-covered tentacles or arms, or by a mucous
net. Organic material is then removed from the deposit and
digested. The rest of the deposit simply passes through the
gut of the organism. Deposit feeders are not predators. Examples
of deposit feeders include sea cucumbers and feather dusters.
- Suspension feeders catch food or organic material from the
water using tentacles or spiny arms. They do not create a
current like filter feeders yet just let the food come to
them and then attach onto it with their tentacles or arms.
Some examples of suspension feeders are the anemone, coral,
hydroids and brittle stars.
- Filter feeders; capture food that is suspended in the water
by creating a current within them for the water to flow through.
Prey is captured as the current passes through the animal;
the prey is filtered from the water as the water passes through
- Predators actively seek out their prey items. In the ocean,
some predators can be adapted to blend in with the surrounding
area and wait for a prey item to pass by or they can be adapted
to move quickly to chase down prey. Examples of predators
are the grouper, triggerfish, and panamic sea star.
IV. Activity Three
- Show children the live animals and remnants of animals.
- Let the students carefully handle the animals
- Ask the students what the animals eat and how they eat.
- Go into discussion about the feeding habits of the different
- Common Problems
1. Students might handle the animals roughly and need to be reminded
to be gentle.
V. Activity Four
- Ask students to point out their favorite animal in the area
and how that animal eats
for the activity
The group members, basing some of it on the Rocky Intertidal station,
developed the activities for this station.
time to do the activity/activities
|This station should take about 25 minutes.
1. This activity will allow the students to distinguish between
plants and animals in the marine world.
2. Students will gain knowledge of different methods of feeding
in marine organisms.
3. Students will get a hands on experience investigating these
4. Students will be able to work together and play a game that
will demonstrate the feeding strategies discussed in the station.
Materials for a group of 5 students:
- Laminated cards with pictures of different organisms. These
include pictures of both plants, algae and animals. The plants,
algae, and animals included on the cards are a lion, a violet,
clam, barnacle, coral, clown fish, oak tree, green algae, sea
anemone, and a sea cucumber.
- One or two sticky hands. Sticky hands are toys for children
that are generally bought from vending machines.
- Small hand-held fan.
- Different sized pieces of paper to represent food, enough for
- Several pieces of animal remnants, i.e. shells, tube worm cases,
sea urchin tests, etc.
- Large salt-water tank filled with live organisms, i.e. fish,
sea cucumbers, etc.
- A few smaller bowls filled with live snails, crabs, sea urchin,
and brittle stars.
Same materials as those used in Activity Three.
& teacher "heads up"
|Preparation includes setting out the cards with the pictures of
organisms on it for the first activity. For the second activity, the
sticky hands, hand fan and different types of food must be pulled
out. The live animals need to be placed into the glass bowls filled
with salt water and placed a table that students can gather around.
These animals include snails, brittle stars, the sea urchin, and hermit
II. Activity One
A. Gather students around the a table with pictures of animals,
algae and plants
- Ask students what characteristics distinguish animals from plants
and how plants and animals are different from algae.
- Have students group the pictures into animals and plants
- Correct any mistakes and explain why
1.Common Mistakes Made or Reasoning Used
- Cannot see a mouth, eyes, nose, etc.
- Since there is not mouth, they cannot eat
- Be able to anticipate and respond to how coral, sea anemone,
and sponges are animal
work sheets, additional web pages
|The only images we used are the cards with pictures on them.
for discussion or conclusion
|The fourth activity will be the conclusion activity for this station.
Students will be able to choose an organism and discuss how it feeds
and what it eats.
|If the students are able to discuss the feeding habits of different
organisms in the fourth activity, then the goals of this station have
activities which relate to and extend the complexity of the experiment.
|They can use their new knowledge of feeding habits of marine animals
and apply it to feeding habits of land animals. Examples include spiders
as suspension feeders, lions are predators, and vultures are scavengers.
A web address with information on the topic of the activity.
Moyle, Peter B. Fish: An Enthusiasts Guide. University
of California Press, Berkeley: 1993.
Buchsbaum, Ralph, et al. Animals Without Backbones. The University
of Chicago Press, Chicago: 1987.
Algae = las algas
Plant = las plantas
Animal = los animals
Suspension feeder = alimentador de suspension
Filter feeder = filtre alimentador
Deposit feeder = deposite alimentador
Predator = el animal de rapina
Scavenger = el animal que se alimenta de carrona
Fish = pez
Tube worm = el gusano del tubo
Barnacle = el percebe
Sea urchin = urchin del mar
Brittle star = la estrella quebradiza
Sea cucumber = el pepino del mar
Snail = el caracol
Hermit crab = el cangrejo de hermit
Coral = el coral
Sea anemone = la anemona del mar
Sponge = la esponja
Clam = la almeja
Plankton = el plancton
Oak tree = el roble
Violet = la violeta
Lion = el leon
Shell = el esqueleto
Test = la prueba
Case = el caso
What is this?
?Que es esto?
What is this called?
?Como se llama esto?
Look at this.
How does this eat?
?Como come esto?
What does this eat?
?Que come esto?