Ocean Animal Sort

One of the most confusing areas of our Ocean Unit was that not all animals that swim in the ocean are fish.  The ocean is full of fish, sure, but it also includes mammals, invertebrates and plants… as well as some reptiles and amphibians.  For this activity we focused on fish, mammals and invertebrates.  I printed off 24 pictures of animals that fit into one of these 3 categories.  The first question we asked is, “Does it have a backbone?”  If the answer was No! then we knew it was an invertebrate.  If the answer was Yes!, we set it aside.  After sorting out all the invertebrates, we moved on to separating mammals from fish.  First, we discussed characteristics of each.  Fish have scales, gills, breathe water, and lay eggs.  Mammals on the other hand, have skin, hair, breathe air, and have live births.  Then we looked at each animal and classified it as either a fish or a mammal.  The animals we used were:

Invertebrate: horseshoe crab, lobster, octopus, sea jelly, sea star, shrimp, snail, squid (*Note that sea stars used to be called starfish and sea jellies used to be called jellyfish.  Since they aren’t fish, they’ve been renamed more appropriately)
Fish: angelfish, blowfish, catfish, clownfish, eel, manta ray, salmon, and shark
Mammals: beluga whale, dolphin, manatee, orca, otter, sea lion, seal, and walrus

I made a large sorting sheet for all the pictures to fit and a smaller one to include in his lap book.  You’ll find instructions on the first page of the pdf. (links at the bottom of the page)

The large display is 24″x 5″ and folds to 8″x 5″

The small display is 9″x 6.25″ and folds to 3″x 6.25″

Ocean Animal Sort
Ocean Animal Sort- Pictures

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