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        Splash & Bubbles | Lu the Explorer: Lesson for Grade 1

        Have your class learn along with Splash and friends in this lesson plan that accompanies the Splash & Bubbles story segment "Lu the Explorer." Teach about ocean zones and biodiversity in this lesson aimed at grade 1.

        Lesson Summary

        Splash

        The ocean is divided into zones, including the deep Midnight zone, where animals have special features that help them survive in a dark habitat.

        Time Allotment

        While each class is different, it is estimated that the activities in this lesson will take around an hour to complete.

        Warm Up and Watch: 25 minutes

        Carpet Time/Whole Group Activity: 10 minutes

        Craft: 25 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Learners will:

        • Name and describe the zones of the ocean
        • Identify at least one feature of a deep ocean creature that helps it to survive in a habitat with no light

        Supplies

        • Equipment to show the class a short video
        • Diagram: Ocean Zones
        • White, economy paper plates (one for each student)
        • Scissors
        • Glue
        • Crayons
        • White construction paper
        • Yellow construction paper
        • Gold or silver glitter (optional)
        • Red construction paper (optional)
        • Fishing line (optional)

        Introductory Activity

        Warm Up and Watch

        Warm Up 

        Turn out the lights in the classroom and ask students to close their eyes. Invite them to imagine that they are animals living in a habitat with no sunlight. How would they find something to eat? Have a few students share their ideas. Then, explain that there are some parts of the ocean so deep that sunlight can’t reach there and everything is completely dark. Animals that live in that habitat have to have special features to help them survive.

        Watch

        Lu the Explorer

        Tell students that the class is going to watch an episode of the PBS Kids series Splash and Bubbles that shows some animals that live in the deep part of the ocean that is always dark. Focus their viewing by asking them to look for a fish named Lu.

        Start the episode, “Lu the Explorer.” Pause the video when Lu swims up to the other fish and says, “Hi there!” (at about 4:40 into the video). Point out Lu, the brown Deep Sea Anglerfish, to the students and tell them that she is the fish they were looking for. 

        Explain also that in real life, a fish like Lu lives in the deep part of the ocean that is always dark, but the video needs to show Lu in more light so we can see what she looks like and learn more about her. Ask the children to look carefully at Lu. In what ways does Lu look different from the other fish? Responses might include that she has a larger mouth, is not as colorful, and has something long and thin attached to her head. Tell students that Lu is a Deep Sea Anglerfish. “Angler” is another word for “someone who fishes with a fishing pole.” The thing on her head kind of looks like a fishing pole, and she uses it to help catch fish to eat. Then start the video again and ask the children to look for other special features about Anglerfish.

        Pause the video again after Lu turns her light back off. Ask students to share what other special features they have noticed about Anglerfish. Focus on these two key concepts:

        1. Lu’s name is short for “bioluminescence,” which means she can make her own light with the help of bacteria that glow inside of the “esca” at the end of the attachment on her head. In their dark habitat deep in the ocean, other fish are attracted to the glowing esca. They swim close to the light and then Lu can scoop them into her giant mouth. This feature brings the food to her so she doesn’t have to swim very far or fast in the dark to catch her prey.
        2. All Deep Sea Anglerfish with a glowing esca are girls. The boys, like Lu’s husband Bob, are much smaller and do not have any special features to help them catch food on their own. To survive in the deep ocean, they attach themselves to a female for the rest of their lives and share her food. In real life, the boys attach to the girls with their mouth, so we wouldn't be able to see Bob's face. The video needs to show his face so he can talk to the other fish.

        Start the video again and ask students to watch for other special features that help animals live in a deep ocean habitat. At the end of the episode, review some of these features, including Big E’s large eyes that help to take in as much light as possible, and the Firefly Squid’s bioluminescence, which scientists believe is used to talk to other squid or to confuse predators.

        Learning Activities

        Carpet Time/Whole Group Activity

        Show students the diagram of the ocean zones provided in the Supplies section.

        Explain that the ocean is divided into zones based on how deep it is and the amount of light that is there. Ask students: 

        • Is the water in the deepest part of the ocean warmer or colder than the water at the surface? Why? [The water at the surface is generally warmer due to sunlight.]
        • Do you think there are more animals and plants in the deepest part of the ocean or at the surface? Why? [90% of marine life lives in the Sunlight zone because the sun helps plants to grow and can support the needs of most ocean animals. Plants are only found in the Sunlight Zone but animals are found in every zone.]

        Splash

        Point out the names of each zone on the diagram, note how there is less light the deeper you go, and that plants can only grow in the Sunlight Zone. Ask students which zone Lu, the Anglerfish from the video, would live in? [Anglerfish generally are found in the Midnight zone.] 

        Then, have students stand up and teach them this song, “Ocean Zones,” set to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” (see handout in Support Materials below). As you sing, consider crouching lower with each zone (as the ocean zones get deeper) until the class is sitting or lying down on the ground.

        The ocean is divided into zones (clap, clap).
        The ocean is divided into zones (clap, clap).
        You’ll see there’s light up at the top, but when it’s deep the light will stop.
        Oh, the ocean is divided into zones (clap, clap).
        
        The Sunlight zone has lots and lots of light (clap, clap).	
        The Sunlight zone has lots and lots of light (clap, clap).
        There most ocean life is found, plants and animals abound.
        Oh, the Sunlight zone has lots and lots of light (clap, clap).
        
        In the Twilight zone, the light is very faint (clap, clap).
        In the Twilight zone, the light is very faint (clap, clap).
        At this point and below, plants are unable to grow.
        In the Twilight zone, the light is very faint (clap, clap).
        
        The Midnight zone is very dark and cold (clap, clap).
        The Midnight zone is very dark and cold (clap, clap).
        Some fish there make their own light, the food comes close and then they bite!
        Oh, the Midnight zone is very dark and cold (clap, clap).
        
        The Abyss is at the bottom of the sea (clap, clap).
        The Abyss is at the bottom of the sea (clap, clap).
        Sea Pigs and other creatures love to eat what drops down from above*.
        The Abyss is at the bottom of the sea (clap, clap).

        Trenches are deep canyons in the ocean floor (clap, clap).
        Trenches are deep canyons in the ocean floor (clap, clap).
        It's hard to dive there and return, so we still have lots to learn.
        Trenches are deep canyons in the ocean floor (clap, clap).

        *Students may also enjoy the video on Sea Pigs found in the Related Resources section.

        Craft Activity

        Remind students that animals in each ocean zone have special features that help them survive. See if they can remember what special features the fish from the deep ocean in the video had. Focus specifically on Lu, the Deep Sea Anglerfish, and the fleshy “fishing pole” attached to her head with the glowing esca that lures in her prey.

        Tell students that they are going to be able to make their own Deep Sea Anglerfish. Model first how to make the fish, and then distribute the materials so they can get started. Here are the steps:

          1. Take a paper plate and imagine it is a pie. Cut a generous “slice of pie” from the plate. The place where the “slice” used to be will be the mouth of the fish. Then glue a point of the “slice” to the opposite side of the fish from the mouth to form the tail.
          2. Using the white construction paper, cut out a thin rainbow shape and glue it to the head of the fish so it arches over the front of her face. (This is the “fishing pole” on the Anglerfish, more accurately called the “illicium.”)  Then, cut two strips of white construction paper that are the same length as the sides of the mouth. Cut long, spiky teeth into the strips and glue the strips to the mouth. Trim the teeth as needed to fit the space of the mouth.
          3. Using the yellow construction paper, cut a small circle or teardrop shape for the glowing esca. Glue it to the tip of the white construction paper “rainbow” attached to the head of the fish. BubblesOptionally, use glue to add gold or silver glitter to the esca to represent its glow.
          4. With crayons, draw an eye and a fin, and maybe even a male Anglerfish attached to her side. Color in and decorate the rest of the plate as desired. (Anglerfish are generally dark gray to dark brown in color, but artists can feel free to express themselves in whatever color they prefer.)
          5. Optionally, use the red construction paper to cut out a fish shape, draw on some details with a dark crayon, and then use the fishing line to dangle it from the esca or inside the mouth of the Anglerfish.

        Culminating Activity

        Home Activity Handout

        Dear Parents and Guardians:

        We have been studying the zones of the ocean, as well as some of the special features that allow fish to survive in habitats where there is little to no light.

        For example, the Deep Sea Anglerfish has a thin piece of flesh attached to her head that can glow, thanks to “bioluminescence.” In their dark habitat deep in the ocean, prey are attracted to this glowing light and when they get close, the Anglerfish opens its large mouth and scoops them inside. This feature brings the food to her so she doesn’t have to swim very far or fast in the dark to catch her food.

        You are invited to help your child review what we’ve learned by singing the song below together, and checking out one of the recommended books from the library.

        Have fun!

        "Ocean Zones"

        Set to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” As you sing, consider crouching lower with each verse (as the ocean zones get deeper) until you are sitting or lying down on the ground!

        The ocean is divided into zones (clap, clap).
        The ocean is divided into zones (clap, clap).
        You’ll see there’s light up at the top, but when it’s deep the light will stop.
        Oh, the ocean is divided into zones (clap, clap).
        
        The Sunlight zone has lots and lots of light (clap, clap).	
        The Sunlight zone has lots and lots of light (clap, clap).
        There most ocean life is found, plants and animals abound.
        Oh, the Sunlight zone has lots and lots of light (clap, clap).
        
        In the Twilight zone, the light is very faint (clap, clap).
        In the Twilight zone, the light is very faint (clap, clap).
        At this point and below, plants are unable to grow.
        In the Twilight zone, the light is very faint (clap, clap).
        
        The Midnight zone is very dark and cold (clap, clap).
        The Midnight zone is very dark and cold (clap, clap).
        Some fish there make their own light, the food comes close and then they bite!
        Oh, the Midnight zone is very dark and cold (clap, clap).
        
        The Abyss is at the bottom of the sea (clap, clap).
        The Abyss is at the bottom of the sea (clap, clap).
        Sea Pigs and other creatures love to eat what drops down from above. 
        The Abyss is at the bottom of the sea (clap, clap).
        
        Trenches are deep canyons in the ocean floor (clap, clap).
        Trenches are deep canyons in the ocean floor (clap, clap).
        It’s hard to dive there and return, so we still have lots to learn.
        Trenches are deep canyons in the ocean floor (clap, clap).
        

        Recommended Books

        Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae
        Wish For a Fish: All About Sea Creatures by Bonnie Worth

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