Under the Sea Mural

Difficulty: Easy

According to brain research in education, connecting factual knowledge to creativity enhances long term learning. After completing their unit of under the sea study, 1st and 2nd graders are ready to apply their new science knowledge in a creative form.

Products Used:

Other Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Pencils

Lesson Plan Ideas

Learning Objectives for Grades: 1st and 2nd

Developed by: Children’s Creativity Specialist, Stephie Morton, Artist in Residence, Laurel Elementary School of Arts and Technology, Ft. Collins, Colorado

Students will:

  • Investigate characteristics of ocean environments.
  • Recognize that the undersea world is inhabited by culturally diverse species.
  • Know the difference between underwater species and be able to demonstrate them using various media (collage technique emphasizing creativity and craftsmanship).
  • Develop and reinforce language, research, science, and aesthetic concepts through the use of reference materials.
  • Act as continuous learners as they develop a lifelong interest and appreciation for the beauty of life under the sea.

Project Steps:

  1. Step 1:

    Under the Sea Mural Collage Project:
    Students use books to find reference pictures of under sea life. Each child makes a sketch of their chosen sea plant or animal, and then redraws the basic image on Poster Board. Poster Board is easy to cut and provides a sturdy background for receiving collage.

    Step 1



  2. Step 2:

    Collage Technique:
    Make a simple display that shows different ways to decorate with paper to inspire imagination. Provide an assortment of papers (use scrap pieces from other projects) in open bins to encourage creative choices. Children can cut or tear papers for embellishment and attach with a glue stick. Some delicate papers like Iridescent Film and Spectra® Art Tissue attach best with double-sided tape.

    Step 2


    • Styrofoam plates make wonderful teeth for sharks and other toothy creatures.
    • Children love using assorted sizes of Wiggle Eyes for their finishing touch.
    • Hole punches add fun effects.                                                                
    • Relative size of plants and animals and their placement of the mural (on the ocean floor?, where in the water?) make for interesting discussion.



  3. Step 3:

    Under The Sea Mural

    Assembling Mural: Let children participate in the placement of their creation on the mural. Use push pins at first for any last minute design changes and then attach with double-sized tape. Staples work fine too.

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