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Concepts/Objectives | Vocabulary/Background | Activity | Extension
"KELP FOREST READING AREA"
View pictures, videos or online sites that illustrate a kelp forest. (The Sea Grant online site for kelp is given in the Extensions section of this activity.) Engage in a teacher directed discussion of what kelp is like, how it differs from land plants, and what it would be like for an animal to live in that habitat. Students can also do more in-depth research projects on kelp and kelp forest inhabitants as part of this overall activity.
- Choose a spot in your classroom to designate as the "kelp forest" area. The space that you choose does not need to be a large one, a 6'x6' space is fine.
- Suspend rope from the ceiling (this will be the stipe) and attach kelp blades that the students cut from heavy green trash bags. A piece of thin wire glued up the middle of the "blade" will allow the students to bend the blades, this will make the kelp more life-like, and can also be used to attach the blade to the "stipe."
- For additional realism, small Styrofoam balls painted green can be strung onto the wire at the base of the blade before it is attached to the stipe.
- Holdfasts can be made from many strands of thinner rope or green yarn, attached to the base of the stipe and then glued in a tangled mass to a rock or two.
After the students create their classroom kelp forest, they can research the animals that live in the kelp forest, and then make them from various materials to inhabit the kelp forest. Don't forget the tiny crabs, shrimp, worms, and sea stars that hide in the holdfasts.
The reading room can be the center for all types of reading. Of course, any marine science books and/or stories and books relating to the ocean would fit perfectly into this reading area!