It’s Shark Week on Discovery Channel! Shark Week is an incredible week for both shark lovers and budding ocean conservationists. Homeschooling Shark Week, however, presents some challenges. Every child is different, so you will need to consider your child’s age and sensitivity to “toothy” predators before letting them watch Shark Week. The Discovery Channel hosts different types of shark shows and documentaries this week, some of which may be appropriate for older kids (ages 14 and up). However, if your older kids really love Shark Week, the younger ones will want to be a part of it too. The list of homeschooling resources below will help you incorporate younger or more sensitive children into the excitement of Shark Week without the nightmares. (Can you tell I’m speaking from experience?). There are also links for older kids so you can easily extend the learning opportunities. Some of the links below are affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.
ONLINE RESOURCES and WORKSHEETS
- Shark Sider is one of the rabbit hole resources. Be sure to check out the anatomy tab. This is a great resource for kids wanting to learn more about sharks.
- Relentlessly Fun Deceptively Educational created fun printable Shark Bingo cards.
- The Shark Research Institute has free printable worksheets (including the answer keys) for elementary age kids.
- Ocearch allows you to track sharks all over the world. You can follow them by name or just check out different pings world wide. Be sure to check out the Educators tab for free lesson plans for a variety of age groups and subjects.
- Explore.org is an amazing resource if you are looking for animal live cams. The link will take you to the Atlantic Ocean Shark Cam. You may or may not see a shark, but you will see lots of different fish for sure. Be sure to download the app or bookmark this link because there are lots of different animal cams to explore.
- The Shark Trust has free printable pdf shark posters (scroll to the bottom of the linked page).
- PBS LearningMedia is a free lesson plan resource for teachers and home educators, but registration is required. Shark Attack! The Hunt is a lesson plan for grades 5-8 (ages 10-14).
- One of our favorite shark lesson plans is Shark Biology for grades 6-12 (ages 12-18). It is also from PBS MediaLearning.
- The last PBS MediaLearning lesson plan I’ll share is one for grades 6-12 (ages 12-18). It is Nature the Secret World of Sharks and Rays: Sharks in Our Future. PBS LearningMedia has several other shark lesson plans. Go to their site and use the search function to find more.
- TED Ed is another free resource for lesson plans, though these are shorter. Registration is optional, but I recommend it so you can customize the lesson plans. Why Are Sharks So Awesome is one of our favorites for grades 7-12 (ages 13-18). I especially love to use TED Ed as an introduction to a unit study.
- Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating is for ages 3-8. The inspirational true story of a woman scientist is brilliantly unfolded in this book. This book is newly on the market, so it may be difficult to find in libraries for several more months. This is one worth buying. I use picture books a lot in middle school and high school to introduce teenagers to incredible people or events. As the kids get older we read harder texts around here, so it’s nice to fold in a picture book now and then. Did I mention the illustrations are gorgeous?
- Sharks by Gail Gibbons is for ages 4 to 8. It is a gentle book (though there is a picture a cohort thought was “too toothy” that we had to skip over for a while). It is full of information, including a pronunciation guide.
- Super Shark Encyclopedia and Other Creatures of the Deep put out by DK is a fabulous book for ages 8 to 14. The pictures are phenomenal. One of the cohorts loved the skeleton diagram. Just remember, it is about more than just sharks.
- Shark Science Activity Exploring Buoyancy with Kids by Little Bins for Little Hands is a great hands on science activity that not only teaches your younger kids about sharks, but also buoyancy (the famous sink and float science the early years are full of). The best part about it is that you probably have everything you need already at home. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom and check out her other Shark Week resources; you won’t be sorry.
- Shark Crafts for Preschoolers: Shark Suncatcher by Buggy and Buddy is a fun craft project for ages 3-6. If your littles are all done with sharks, you can easily adapt it to seahorses or seals.
- Chalk Pastel sells all sorts of ebooks and video tutorials. The Shark Art Tutorials ebooks are a great addition to Shark Week, an ocean unit study, or art course of study. You don’t need a lot of art supplies to get started and each book can be used with multiple ages.