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This is a guide for facilitating interaction at a touch tank with marine animals. The instructions are for setting up a display in an informal science center, but could work anywhere. Both initiating and follow-up questions are included for helping learners make observations and speculations about an animal's functions and habitat. General background information is provided about stresses animals experience in a marine environment, including tides, waves, drying out, and substrates to attach to. Specific information to display is provided for five representative organisms: Gumboot Chiton, Rock Crab, Sea Star, Hermit Crab, and Flat Fish.
- 10 to 30 minutes
- 10 to 30 minutes
- $1 - $5 per group of students
- Ages 4 - adult
- Activity, Exhibit, Lesson/Lesson Plan
Materials List (per group of students)
- Touch tank containing one or more marine animals. (A small number or variety is preferable for learner focus.)
- Standing tabletop signs or posters with a picture of the organism and its name and maybe a few questions related to that organism.
- Information cards (5 representative cards in PDF)
- Hand washing station or facilities nearby.
- Examples of internal hard parts from the organisms, such as fish bones or chiton plates. *Note: Ideally a Hard Parts artifact cart and books about each organism could be located nearby for further related investigations.
- Tables: at least one for the organisms, and another table set apart for information about each animal.
Earth and Space Science
- Rocks and Minerals
- Oceans and Water
Earth, Moon and Sun
- Earth Structure
Diversity of Life
- Diversity of Life
The Nature of Science
The Scientific Process
- Asking Questions
- Formulating Explanations
- The Scientific Process
To use this activity, learners need to:
- see color
Learning styles supported:
- Involves hands-on or lab activities
Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:
This resource is part of:
- Free access
- All rights reserved, Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, 2009
- National Science Foundation, NSF OCE-0731338