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Busy Otters Teacher Guide

Busy Otters Teacher Guide

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Published by MontereyBayAquarium
Learn about sea otters, what they do all day and how they stay warm. While at the aquarium, students observe these amazing mammals and compare them to the wild otters in the bay. These educational activities are designed to promote inquiry-based learning, focused observations and group investigations.

Grade K-2, Age 5-8
Learn about sea otters, what they do all day and how they stay warm. While at the aquarium, students observe these amazing mammals and compare them to the wild otters in the bay. These educational activities are designed to promote inquiry-based learning, focused observations and group investigations.

Grade K-2, Age 5-8

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Published by: MontereyBayAquarium on Aug 03, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Monterey Bay Aquarium: Busy Otters Teacher Activity Guide
Page
1 of 7
© 2004 Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundationhttp://www.montereybayaquarium.org 
Busy Otters
(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.
Activity Descriptions
Before their trip to the aquarium, studentslearn about sea otters, their body parts and behaviors
 
as they read
Pup’s Supper
 ,
do an
 
Otter Pantomime
 
and make a
Sea OtterPuppet
.
 Chaperones help the students record seaotter behaviors while they do
Busy OttersObservations
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
 
in
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
.
Key Concepts
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
o
to 60
o
 Fahrenheit).
 
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
 OtterPantomime
 
Grade K: 1a, 2a, 2c, 4 b, 4eGrade 1: 2a, 2b, 2cGrade 2: 4d
 Sea OtterPuppets
Grade K: 2a, 2c, 4c, 4eGrade 1: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4a, 4dGrade 2: 4d
 Busy OttersObservations
 
in the aquarium
 
K: 2a, 2c, 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e1: 2a, 4b, 4d2: 1a, 1b, 2d, 4c, 4d
 
Busy OttersGraphs
 
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
 Extensions
 
Create a word wall or class dictionary of otter nouns, adjectives and verbs foundin
Pup’s Supper 
.
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.
Resources
 
Monterey Bay Aquarium Web Sitewww.montereybayaquarium.org
 
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Busy Otters Teacher Activity Guide
Page
2 of 7
© 2004 Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundationhttp://www.montereybayaquarium.org 
Pup’s Supper
(Pre-Visit)
 
Materials
!
 Pup’s Supper 
story (online)*
!
 Pup’s Supper 
story pictures(one set for each group)* Directions1. Read the online book,
 Pup’s Supper 
 with the students,in English or Spanish.2. Discuss some of the otter behaviors. How do otters gettheir food? How do mother otters take care of their  babies?3. Using copies of the
 Pup’s Supper 
story pictureshavethe children recreate the story by arranging the picturesand telling about each one.4. Students may also make their own sea otter story bywriting or dictating their ideas then illustrating the page.
Otter Pantomime
(Pre-Visit)
 
Materials
#
Paper 
#
Pencils
#
Markers or crayonsDirections1. Lead students in a role-play in which they pretend to be sea otters. Try these possible prompts:- Cover yourself with thick fur and put on your imaginary body parts: paws, hind flippers and tail.Don’t forget your nose, mouth, whiskers and ears.- Now imitate an otter. Groom your fur. Rollover. Divefor food. Pretend to swim, gather some food, put it inyour pouch and carry it back to the surface. Pound the prey on a rock or shell to crack it open then eat it!2. Students can write up a sequence of behaviors of a seaotter. They can use words such as first, then, next andfinally. Draw pictures to illustrate each otter behavior and put them in order with the describing sentences.
Sea Otter Puppets
(Pre-Visit)
 
MaterialsFor each student
!
Otter puppet pieces* 
!
Paper lunch bags
!
Crayons
!
Scissors
!
GlueDirections1. Provide each student with a copy of otter puppet pieces. 2. Have the students color the templates and cut out the pieces.3. Glue the otter's head to the bottom of the lunch bag.Use yarn or pipe cleaners to make whiskers by gluingthem to the face of the otter. Then glue the tail to theinside edge of the bag and the paws and flippers to theoutside of the bag.
*Available on the Monterey Bay Aquarium's web site under Teachers & Kids: Learning Activities: Busy Otters
 
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Busy Otters Teacher Activity Guide
Page
3 of 7
© 2004 Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundationhttp://www.montereybayaquarium.org 
Sea Otter Puppets (continued)
4. Use the puppets to act out the following story:A sea otter dives to the seafloor, searching for something toeat. Steering with its tail, the otter uses its rear flippers,which are webbed like a duck’s feet, to paddle itself along. Itspots a clam hidden just under the sand and quickly swimsover to it. Wriggling its whiskers, the otter feels for the clamthen grabs it with its padded paws. The otter also picks up asmall rock then tucks the rock and the clam in a fold of skinunder its arm. The otter swims back to the surface and floatson its back. Setting the rock on its chest as if it’s a table, theotter holds the clam and bangs it against the rock to crack open the clam’s hard shell. The otter tears at the soft clam body inside the shell with its sharp teeth in front, then chewsthe clam with its strong jaws and flat teeth that are in back of its mouth. Feeling full, the otter rubs its face and chest withits paws, cleaning its fur from any leftovers. Then the otter rests, floating on its back in the warm sun.
 Busy Otters Observations
 
(in the aquarium)
 MaterialsFor each chaperone: 1.Busy Otters Group ExplorationGuide and Aquarium Map* 
!
Pencil or pen
!
Clipboard (optional)Directions1.
PRINT and BRING
copies of theBusy Otters GroupExploration Guide and Aquarium Map
 
for eachchaperone to use during your visit to the aquarium.2. Aquarium educators will meet your group when youarrive and provide you with more specific informationabout your exploration.
Busy Otter Graphs
(Post-Visit)
 
Materials
!
Completed Busy Otter GroupExploration Guides*
!
Sticky notes
!
Poster paper or wall spaceDirections1. Prepare a blank chart on a piece of poster paper or wallspace to help students visualize the information theycollected at the aquarium.2. Working in groups, have the students refer to the BusyOtter Group Exploration Guides they used during their visit. What types of otter behaviors did they observe?Did they see otters swimming? Eating? Diving?Rubbing and grooming? Rolling?3. Write each of the behaviors on a separate sticky note.Place the notes along the bottom of the chart.4. Ask the students how otters spend their day?5. Tell the students that they are going to create ahistogram or bar graph to help them analyze theinformation they gathered on their trip.
*Available on Monterey Bay Aquarium's web site under Teachers & Kids: Learning Activities: Busy Sea Otters
 

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