Octopus Lesson Plan - Grades K-4 by ECSDM
Biology/Living Environment, English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core)
Elementary, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade
The children will learn about the life of an octopus. They will listen to a story, answering prediction questions and prior knowledge on the animals. They will observe one of the ways an octopus defends itself in the ocean. They will then create a defense method for their imaginary octopus.
Enchanted Learning Octopus
National Geographic Kids Octopus
- The students will learn about the life of an octopus.
- The students will observe a defense mechanism of the octopus.
- The students will create an imaginary defense mechanism for an octopus.
- An Octopus is Amazing by Patricia Lauber
- Chart paper/blackboard with a writing tool
- Small tank
- A balloon
- Small amount of ink
- 2 clear cups
Lauber, Patricia. (1996) An Octopus is Amazing. New York, NY:HarperCollins Publishers
Raines, Shirley. (1994) Activities to Expand Children’s Books. Mount Rainer, MD:Gryphon House Inc.
Model Being Used: Launch, Explore, Summarize
Learning arrangement: Full class instruction with teaching assistant.
- The students will offer their previous knowledge on octopi.
- I will record their responses on chart paper or the blackboard.
- I will also ask them what they want to learn about octopi and record that too.
- As a class, we will construct a balloon octopus by inserting a small amount of ink into a
deflated balloon. Next, I will blow a small amount of air into the balloon and tie it off.
- I will place it in the tank for the children to observe.
- We will remove one cup of water from the tank.
- We will review the different defense mechanisms the octopus uses to defend itself.
- While holding the balloon under water, and puncture it with a pin as I release balloon.
- This will demonstrate what occurs if the octopus is bitten by a predator. (The ink will
squirt out as the “octopus” quickly flees away.
- Finally, we will compare the first cup of water with the water that is now in the tank.
- I will ask the children to offer what they have learned throughout the activity.
- We will take a vote on our favorite new fact. (They will be written on the board.)
- Each child will create and illustrate a defense mechanism that could protect the octopus
For the beginning part of the lesson, I will observe the student’s understanding by their
questions and responses.
I will walk around and monitor the children as they illustrate their observations.
Without distraction, the student work sample will be reviewed, and displayed for all the children
- I will use the concepts listed in the on-going assessments to aid in evaluating the child.
- The class suggestions for favorite facts will also assist in evaluations.
- Since this lesson will be done while an assistant is in the room, I will have enough time to
conference with each child about their illustrations.
Instructional Modifications/ Space Modifications
For the first half of the lesson, the children are on the morning carpet. This helps the children
to get a clear observation of both story and demonstration. There will also be an aid in the room,
which provides more student assistance if needed.
The students' desks will be arranged in groups of four. The blackboard is in the front of the
room, which is where all of the students' suggestions are listed. All needed material will be
placed in the center of the children’s “tables”. The classroom lights and six windows will
provide adequate lighting. There is a bathroom and sink to the right of the children if needed.
Writing Students that require more challenging work can use inventive spelling to describe
Reading S/He could also practice “reading” An Octopus is Amazing by Patricia Lauber.
Math Graph our votes. Count and compare differences.
Social Studies The process of voting and the environment.
Science The life of an octopus.
If there is a pair of accelerated students, they can practice “reading” to one another.
Research octopi in the computer lab.