Ideas for Activities Related to molluscs and oceans
Given below is a list of activities using molluscan shells. The objective of these activities are to develop cognitive learning skills through the integration of knowledge gained from different subjects. Developing a certain love for nature is always an unsaid objective in all activities given.
Details of how to carry out these activities will be made available in the near future.
For primary classes :
- Drawing, colouring shells and painting pictures of shells
- Building vocabulary of new words using shells.( Vocabulary in English and Indian languages- specially Indian languages as local names are available for many of these shells)
- Learning to spell words.
- Using Cat’s eye, cowries and paper shells to learn counting and simple mathematical operations
- Observing shells- bringing attention to their shapes and parts to begin learning about the theme ‘animals and their homes’.
For Middle school ( upper primary) classes:
- Observing and measuring shells of any one species of differing sizes to help learn about proportions .This activity could be quite challenging and has the potential to be used for a full fledged project in higher classes
Note: Turbo and Trochus shells ideal for this activity. They are easily available in the beaches of Southern India. Look for them- they come in different sizes, washed on the beaches, in southern coasts.
- Food webs and food chains in ocean ecosystems : Shells collected on the beach, along with observations made during collection together with information on this site can be used in constructing food chains and food webs likely in these ecosystem. The skill of predicting and hypothesizing which is an important skill for experimentation can also be developed through this activity.
- Performing simple chemistry experiments using Cat’s eye or Potamides sp to show that shells have calcium carbonate.
- Investigating the effect of Tamarind extract, lemon juice and vinegar on shells, use cat’s eye/Potamides sp shells
- Measuring the size of shells , understanding the importance of different measuring tools in measuring objects with different shapes and sizes.
- Investigating sand from the beaches for different properties – composition, water holding capacity, magnetic property etc and to explain the reason for the presence of these properties.
- Develop writing skills with shells/ocean ecosystems as starting point( creative writing, picture description as asked in ICSE exams)
- Developing drawing skills using different shells as objects for drawing.
- Learning to use graphs sheets with the help of shells as objects for measurement ( area of irregular object)
- Learning about the relationships between corals and mollusks.
- Investigating to learn how lime is made using shells.
- Observing bivalves at sea shores to learn about how they live and feed.
- Learning about geographical range / locations (Where can they be found? Latitudes/longitude) of select shells of your choice (use the different sources and information given on this website)
- Creating distribution data of shells on a map. (Reference : Information & web sources given on this site)
For High school classes ( secondary and senior secondary):Some of these activities are better suited for projects in Biology or Environment sciences
- Using vernier calipers to measure shells.
- Designing experiments using shells to investigate and infer the health of ecosystems, especially mangroves
- Designing experiments to investigate why shells are found in abundance along certain parts of a coast- hypothesizing the implications of such numbers for the ecosystem.
- Learning to identify some commonly seen molluscs.
- Learning about the ecology of Oceans
- Investigating relationships such as mutualism, predation etc with special reference to molluscs.( eg Barnacles on Turritella sp, hermit crabs in gastropod shell, carnivorous molluscs etc)
- Observing molluscs that live in mangrove areas to learn about morphological features that help in their survival
- Investigating the intertidal area ( the littoral zone where the land and sea meet) for biodiversity and observing to find out how organisms have adapted to select abiotic factors ( eg. Water current, preventing desiccation etc)