Monterey Bay Aquarium: Busy Otters Teacher Activity Guide
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© 2004 Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundationhttp://www.montereybayaquarium.org
(K-2, Age 5-8)
Learn about sea otters, what they do all dayand how they stay warm. While at theMonterey Bay Aquarium, students observethese amazing mammals and compare themto the wild otters in the bay.
Before their trip to the aquarium, studentslearn about sea otters, their body parts and behaviors
as they read
and make a
Chaperones help the students record seaotter behaviors while they do
at the aquarium. They canalso look for wild otters from the outsidedeck.Back in class, they use
Busy Otters Graphs
and Venn Diagrams of Otter Behaviors
tocompile their observations. They investigatethe insulating properties of a variety of materials
How Do Otters Stay Warm
. Students will imagine life as a sea otter inthe kelp forest then write about their ideas in
Create a Story
Sea otters have body parts that helpthem survive in the ocean: thick fur protects them in the cold water; agile paws help them gather food and groomtheir fur; webbed hind flippers and a tailhelp them swim and dive.
Sea otters are the smallest marinemammals. They live in kelp forests incold ocean water (30
A sea otter dives into the ocean to findinvertebrates to eat. It gathers its preyfrom the kelp or rocks and carries it tothe surface, rolls over on its back, thencracks it open on its chest using a rock or big shell as a tool.
An otter pup learns to survive throughinstruction from its mother. It has tonibble, rub and shake to keep itself cleanand waterproof its fur. To help insulateits body, it also fluffs its fur to trap air.
California Science StandardsPup’s Supper
Grade K: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4eGrade 1: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4a, 4bGrade 2: 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 4d
Grade K: 1a, 2a, 2c, 4 b, 4eGrade 1: 2a, 2b, 2cGrade 2: 4d
Grade K: 2a, 2c, 4c, 4eGrade 1: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4a, 4dGrade 2: 4d
in the aquarium
K: 2a, 2c, 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e1: 2a, 4b, 4d2: 1a, 1b, 2d, 4c, 4d
Grade K: 2a, 4a, 4d, 4eGrade 1: 2b, 2c, 4b, 4cGrade 2: 2c, 2d, 4a, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4g
Venn Diagramof OtterBehaviors
Grade K: 2a, 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4eGrade 1: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4eGrade 2: 1a, 2a, 2c, 2d, 4c, 4d, 4e
How Do OttersStay Warm?
Grade K: 1a, 2a, 4a, 4b, 4d, 4eGrade 1: 1b, 2a, 4b, 4cGrade 2: 2c, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e
Create a Story
Grade K: 2a, 2b, 4a, 4b, 4eGrade 1: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4b, 4eGrade 2: 2c, 4a, 4c, 4d
Create a word wall or class dictionary of otter nouns, adjectives and verbs foundin
Play Sea Otter Charades by having astudent act out one of the sea otter behaviors while the others guess which behavior is being modeled.
Compare sea otters to another marinemammal, i.e., what is the same anddifferent about otters and sea lions.
Investigate other insulating materialsand objects: coolers, sleeping bags or other waterproof items.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Web Sitewww.montereybayaquarium.org