About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

O is for Ocean

If I asked you how many oceans there are in the world, what would you answer? Five?

And you could name them right? Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, Antarctic (also known as Southern)

Well, if you were in my 4th grade class when I was teaching about oceans, you would learn that all the oceans of the world flow into each other, thereby creating one ocean with five different bodies of water that are named as above.

Did you know that oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface and they contain roughly 97% of the Earth's water supply?

I really loved my Oceanography unit! The kids learned that the oceans of Earth serve many functions, especially affecting the weather and temperature. They learned how they moderate the Earth's temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation (stored as heat energy). They also learned that the always-moving ocean currents distribute this heat energy around the globe by heating the land and air during winter and cooling it during summer.

I recall one activity we did whereby we created our own icebergs. We used zip-lock plastic bags and half filled them with blue-coloured water. We also made a mark with black felt at the water line. After a few days in the deep freezer, we brought them out to see if the water line had changed - it had. It seemed as though the water had expanded. Then we each dipped our iceberg in a huge vat of water to see what would happen. Did it sink? Did it float? How much of the iceberg was above the water line of the vat and how much was below? Using rulers, the kids measured and then we figured out the ratio of the visible iceberg to the invisible iceberg. Of course, that continued on to the story about the Titanic.

Another activity we did was when I divided the class into 5 groups, each group representing one of the oceans. Each group had a large tin foil pie plate into which they poured blue-coloured water. Then we added some oil, feathers, string, tooth picks and other small pieces of wood, bread bag tags, bits of clear plastic wrap, and other odds and sods of "garbage."

Then, I said to the groups, "Okay, now clean up your oceans!"

You should have seen those kids work like mad using all sorts of methods to get the oil and garbage out of their oceans.

It certainly proved a point.

And it was lots of fun, too.

I presented several videos about the oceans to the class and we also learned about the history of ocean exploration. It was one of my favourite Science units for many reasons, but one particular reason was that I took the class on a field trip to the Stanley Park Aquarium where they were treated to private viewings of the Beluga Whales.





















ABC Wednesdays is brought to you courtesy of Mrs. Nesbitt and if you click here you can see other participants' posts.

19 comments:

Mara said...

I wish I would have a teacher like you, I might have learnt a bit about oceans then (although I can name them all)...

Babooshka said...

Fascinating whatever age.

Ruth W. said...

I think we need to explore our oceans more instead of the outer space. I think the ocean holds many secrets that we need to know.

gone to the dogs said...

I almost did ocean too. Of course mine would have been the Atlantic Ocean.(Newfoundland) We had a rare sighting of close to 1000 Beluga whales on Our Northern Penninsula just yesterday...alas it would have been an 8 hour drive for me to have seen them.

photowannabe said...

I love the idea of the class creating their own icebergs. I'll bet they never forgot and thought you were an awesome teacher.

Powell River Books said...

Your iceberg experiment brought back lots of memories about activities I did when I taught. Those were fun times. - Margy

Carol said...

Great ocean post...loved the info...

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderful! I can just imagine the students loved the class and their teacher. :)

Maggie May said...

I wish you had have been my teacher. Things would have been much more interesting!
I always thought that we only had ONE ocean! If one of the named five is affected by something, then the other four will be too, as they are all joined together.
Great post.

RuneE said...

Since we live close to an ocean I appreciated this post very much. But is there really more than ONE?

Reader Wil said...

Leslie, this is the kind of post I like best! You are such a great teacher and so creative and inventive to think of actually showing how icebergs work. I think that these pupils will never forget about your lessons! Thank you so much for sharing!

Grace and Bradley said...

You are really a very nice teacher. If I were in your class, I would be as excited as those kids.

Pear tree cottage! said...

Hello Leslie, like the waves of the oceans reching the shores I have been ebbing and flowing into and out of the world of blogging and a, so pleased today to take a moment to come on over to visit you. Your blog page has always been a wonderful place to visit and I see the reno's of the bathroom have been and finished and I know as spring reaches you it must feel so nice to walk in there on those lovely tiles in bare feet (smiles)

Blessings to your little grandchildren always. We are having another here and look forward to another little girl to come into our lives this July.

Lee-ann

david mcmahon said...

And here's another ocean fact, Leslie .... The Indian Pacific train in Australia gets its name from the fact that it runs from east to west and back again, spanning the Indian and Pacific Oceans!

mitt vattenhål said...

great to read your story. I just love watching water myself.
What a strange whale, never seen anything like that

jay said...

I love your classroom activities regarding the oceans! I bet those kids learned a lot without realising it - and while having fun, too!

Jo said...

You sounded like a great teacher! And yes, we need to take a lot (!!!) better care of our oceans.

naturglede said...

I am late, but I love it:)

Miss_Yves said...

Funny and sympathic picture !