We love using themes in our home education and The Ocean was no exception! I have seen Flotsam the book recommended a lot. It’s a visual book, no words. I wasn’t sure my kids would be interested but they loved it!
Flotsam is basically a story of a boy who finds an old box camera washed up on a beach, he gets the film developed and makes lots of discoveries before taking his own photo and throwing it back into the sea for someone else to discover.
When the book arrived I sourced an old family heirloom box camera to give the book some authenticity and really capture my boys imaginations.
The box camera was a hit and they spent a long time investigating it before we delved into the book.
There were so many untold stories and questions within the book that it really got their minds thinking and wondering. We told each other what we thought about each photograph within the book: location, age, profession, name. They thoroughly enjoyed this part.
I made up a few Flotsam Discovery boxes for the boys which included a photograph and a few clues as to what the person liked and/or their profession etc. I printed off a few factfiles for them to fill in about the person they had discovered.
One of our Flotsam discoveries was an engineer so we did some research on famous engineers and chose our favourite one to write a short bio on.
We then moved on to discussing the ocean and how important it is to take care of it. We watched the Blue Planet and researched ocean pollution. The boys decided to make their own posters promoting the welfare of the ocean.
We made a jelly fish out of a storage bag and an elastic band using blue coloured water in a glass jar. This was really effective.
We explored the layers of the ocean and then made our own with the corresponding sea creatures.
We explored the coral reef and the dangers it faces today due to water pollution. We discussed coral bleaching. The boys then used watercolours and charcoal to show the effects of coral bleaching.
Bioluminescence was really interesting topic the boys were keen to understand, once we had the basics we then decided to do a few little projects using neon paint and a black light. We created a puffer fish and neon jars.
One of my boys was really keen to make a felt sea creature so that’s exactly what we did, but first we had to practice a few stitches. Then we designed our felt creatures and made a template. We cut them, sewed them, stuffed them.
We even took our theme into our cooking and we made sea creature shaped bread!
We really enjoy art here so I couldn’t let the topic go by without a little art history! Silhouette art was our topic. We researched and wrote a few bios, then had a go at creating a sea creature silhouette.
This ocean themed learning went really well and we all enjoyed it so much!
I really recommend the Flotsam book!