How to Celebrate Shark Week in Your Homeschool
Shark Week on Discovery Channel, an annual celebration of all things “shark,” routinely takes over television during July. It’s the longest running program in history filled with information about the secret lives of these ocean predators. Shark Week’s main purpose is to focus on conservation efforts and correcting many of the common misconceptions about sharks.
Since Emily’s birthday is in July, she has always felt like Shark Week is especially for her. So, every year we celebrate Shark Week by learning all about sharks.
Shark Week is filled with opportunities to study and explore these magnificent creatures whether you’re born in July or not. There are tons of learning opportunities and over the years we have come up with all kinds of activities, read alouds, and even field trips to make our Shark Week homeschool study a whole lot of fun. Get ready to discover how you can learn and explore sharks this July through books, games, hands-on activities, and more.
Shark Themed Morning Basket
We love morning baskets here at the Waldock Way. Incorporating morning baskets into your homeschool routine is a great way to squeeze in lots of fun learning opportunities you otherwise might not be able to. We fill our morning baskets with books, games, and art activities that follow my daughter’s interests and spark curiosity, creativity, and independent learning.
For Shark Week, we created a fun shark themed morning basket I know you won’t want to miss. It’s filled with books like Shark Lady all about Eugenie Clark, shark themed Mad Libs, oceanic lego building sets, a shark sticker activity book, and a whole lot more.
Jawsome Books About Sharks
Books are the perfect place to start. They can transport you to the ocean so you can swim with the sharks. Or they can just teach you more about them while you are safely located on your couch. Reading is always one on our favorite ways to learn more about anything. These are some of our all time favorites books about sharks.
To enrich the learning even pair one of these books with a game or hands-on activity.
Games to Play During Shark Week
Games have been a big part of our family for as long as I can remember. Playing games is an excellent way to spend quality time together. They are also a great way to learn. Even the simplest games teach turn taking and losing/winning gracefully. Add one of these shark themed games to your homeschool for a deeper learning experience.
Fintastic Hands-on Shark Activities
Kids learn better when they can relate to the subject. There is no better way to help a kid relate to something than with a hands-on activity. Hands-on learning engages kids of all ages in multiple modes of learning. It can also often help the parent become a co-explorer of knowledge versus the dispenser of knowledge.
Shark Week Sensory Bin
One fun way we incorporate hands-on learning activities into our Shark Week homeschool lessons is by creating a shark themed sensory bin. Sensory bins are great for kids of all ages, but they’re especially fun for younger children.
Sensory play encourage kids to build fine motor skills while exploring different topics and materials in a variety of ways. Sensory bins offer opportunities to explore through touch, sight, sounds, and scents. Our Shark Week sensory bin incorporates ocean water beads, and figures from the Sharks Safari LTD Toob.
Art Activities for Shark Week
Another fun way to build fine motor skills during Shark Week is by experimenting with shark themed art activities. Arts and crafts are a fun way to help kids get creative and build confidence as they learn to express themselves through art. Check out some of our favorite shark art activities for homeschoolers:
Chalk Pastel Shark Art
We are loving these video art lessons! They’re engaging and easy to follow. Plus, it’s a super fun way to explore chalk pastels and learn about sharks at the same time.
All you need to participate in Nana’s shark art lessons online is construction paper and chalk pastels. Then, you’re ready to draw your very own sharks with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow.
How To Draw a Shark
Do your kids want to learn how to draw their very own sharks for Shark Week? This fun video lesson from the Art for Kids Hub will teach your little artists how to draw their very own sharks in no time.
There are lots of fun options including how to draw hammerheads, how to draw Baby Shark, and instructions for a surprise folding shark puppet too. There’s even a simple tutorial on creating a shark from shapes for your youngest learners.
Eugenie Clark ‘The Shark Lady’ Unit Study
Emily has fallen in love with Eugenie Clark, also known as “Shark Lady.” Eugenie Clark was a famous scientist who studied sharks. In fact, she was quite passionate about them. Clark is well known for thoroughly researching shark behavior and her efforts as a marine conservationist.
In my Shark Lady Unit Study, you can learn more about Eugenie Clark and her important work through read alouds, games, and activities. It’s a free mini-unit study you won’t want to miss. It’s filled with custom coloring pages, organizers for researching different types of sharks, and even a biography page all about Eugenie Clark for your homeschoolers to fill in.
Field Trips Perfect for Shark Week
Shark Week is filled with films and documentaries you won’t want to miss all about sharks. They focus on educating us about these magnificent creatures while dispelling harmful myths that endanger shark populations. You definitely don’t want to miss the Shark Week specials on Discovery Channel.
While the videos are fantastic, don’t miss the opportunity to squeeze in a hands-on learning experience. Field trips are an important way to enrich your homeschool learning experience by immersing your kids in a hands-on learning adventure. Check out my favorite ideas for Shark Week field trips your kids will love:
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
There are lots of aquariums in Florida but Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of our favorites. Clearwater is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating injured marine animals. Kids can meet rescued animals at the marine hospital, tour Clearwater Bay in an eco-boat, and learn about marine life in more than a dozen exhibits.
Learn more about all the fun learning opportunities available at Clearwater Marine Aquarium in our field trip article all about our adventures there. While you’re there don’t forget to introduce yourself to Thelma the nurse shark. If you’re lucky you might even get a chance to feed a real shark!
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
This year we’re excited to explore Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. It’s the museum started by renowned ichthyologist Eugenie Clark. After learning all about her in our unit study, it’s the perfect field trip for Shark Week Fun!
At Mote, we will get a chance to see sharks up close in their 135,000-gallon shark tank. We can peek into the lab where scientists study sharks and dolphins. Then, explore the open water “shark zone” together before enjoying tons of exhibits featuring a wide variety of ocean life. Can you tell I’m excited?
The truth is that Shark Week has become an exciting learning even for our whole family. I hope I’ve inspired you to explore Shark Week in your homeschool lessons too. How will you explore these creatures of the sea this year? Tell me all about it in the comment section. I can’t wait to read your ideas!