Grades 6-8

Subjects Language Arts, Social Studies, Science


The purpose of this lesson is to explore oceans and sea life and learn to transform thoughts into different forms of poetry.  The goal is to learn something new about an ocean or sea life, the many different forms of poetry, and background history of poetry.


Computer with Internet access

Encarta Encyclopedia on Computer

Paper, Pencil


   1.  Search the Internet and Encarta for a chosen ocean topic and research that particular
         topic making notes on significant information.

   2.  Search the Internet and Encarta to learn about different forms of poetry.

   3.  Write limericks using chosen ocean/sea topic.

   4.  Write cinquain poems using chosen ocean/sea topic.


   1.  Begin by allowing students to search available books, Internet, and Encarta for an
        ocean topic of their interest.  Have students write down any information they learn
        about their chosen topic.  Below are some interesting Internet addresses on oceans
        and ocean life.

 Discovery Channel

 Underwater Pictures

Waikiki Aquarium

Possible topics in Encarta are:

2.  After students have gathered information on their topic.  Introduce them to the form
         limericks and cinquains and give them an example of what you want them to do.

 Ocean Poetry - “Under the Sea” Sebastian: Samuel E. Wright

 Limericks are humorous, five-lined poems that originated in Ireland.  Lines
 1, 2, and 5 rhyme; Lines 3, and 4 rhyme.

For Example

   There once was a manatee named Molly
   She was always playful and jolly
   Her flippers were strong
   And pushed her along
   “I’m a swimming sea cow, by golly.”

A Cinquain poem is a five lined poem in the following form:

  Line 1 - noun - usually 2 syllables
  Line 2 - describes noun - usually 4 syllables
  Line 3 - states action - usually 6 syllables
  Line 4 - expresses a feeling - usually 8 syllables
  Line 5 - synonym of Line 1 - usually 2 or 3 syllables


Sea Foam
Salty water
Blowing over the boat
The wind makes me feel so relaxed

Sea Shells
Sandy beaches
Buried beneath the sand
How I enjoy exploring

     Have students write limerick and cinquain poems using their ocean topic. When
students have completed their poems, have them share the poems with the class.

     Note: Cinquain poems can be used to help identify prepositions.

   3.  Check out poetry books from the library or bring in your personal  poetry books
         and share published limericks and cinquains as well.           .

   4.  Have students write a brief report on their findings of their chosen ocean topic.
        You may choose to have a class discussion on these findings, I have found this
        to be extremely interesting and educational for others.


   1.  For a science lesson you could have students search for the different levels of the
        ocean floor and have them describe/discuss what they find.  Or you may want your
        students to study the inhabitants of the ocean.  See the following Internet sites:

 Athena Curriculum Oceans

 Sea Life and The Fish Industry

 note: There are multiple links on this site.

 2.  For an interesting art lesson on sea life see the following Internet site:

 Sea Life Art by Brian Donlan