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When the Tide is High, the Table is Set

Once Upon a Seashore: Chapter 6

Elementary, Middle


Students and teachers are encouraged to complete these activities in conjunction with a larger seashore study, where students have the opportunity to visit the seashore and make observations at various times throughout the unit. Students take part in a variety of learning activities that help them to understand the interdependence of creatures at the seashore, as well as important concepts and terms relating to the study of Habitats and Communities. This chapter explicitly teaches about food chains and webs, producers, consumers, and scavengers. This chapter is intended to be taught in conjunction with the remainder of the larger compilation; Once Upon A Seashore: A Curriculum Guide for K - 6.

  • Students will create diagrams and murals.
  • Students will take part in word webbing.
  • Students will make multiple trips to the seashore to observe the habitat and the creatures that exit there.
  • Students play the Brain-Buster Food Chain Game where students compete to make the longest food chain.
  • Students create food web bulletin boards.
  • Students take part in various group hands on activities to demonstrate how food webs work
  • Students create art to represent specific organism's habitat and role.
  • Students use metaphors to design their own seashore restaurant

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  •  The definition of a food web and chain and how they operate.
  • The definitions of predators, filter feeders, grazers, and scavengers.
  • The definitions of behavioral and structural adaptations.
  • The definition and how to create metaphors.


  • The visits to the seashore to make observations will continue to engage students throughout the unit of study.
  • Students take part in a variety of different learning opportunities to enhance their understanding of the seashore.
  • Definitions of necessary terms are provided for teachers and students.
  • Purpose of lessons and activities are specific and well organized.
  • All necessary examples and worksheets that accompany each lesson are provided.


  • Students are not given the opportunity to take part in action projects relating to the seashore.
  • Students do not discuss the problems and solutions associated with the seashore environment.
  • Students are not encouraged to work collaboratively with other students.
  • Students are not given the opportunity to share their knowledge with peers or adults.
  • No assessment strategies are provided for teachers.
  • Differentiated instruction practices are not provided for classroom based activities.
  • Case students and appropriate literature are not provided for students.
  • Lessons would need to be adapted to accommodate younger learners.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

Ecosystems (1)

  • Interdependence

Water (1)

  • Marine Environments

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory
  • Provides the non-human point of view for students, but not all points of view are given an adequate voice.
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory
  • Students do not really address the issue of habitat loss or loss of species within this chapter.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Poor/Not considered
  • Students do not focus on the problems that may exist for species that exist at the seashore within this chapter.
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • Action projects are not mentioned within this chapter.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good
  • By having the opportunity to visit the seashore, students are more likely to begin to develop their own values about the seashore and the creatures and plants that inhabit it.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Very Good
  • Students are encouraged to visit the seashore often as a class in conjunction with the activities outlined within this chapter.
  • Students are encouraged to make careful observations of what they see and experience at the seashore.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory
  • Students do not discuss the past state of the seashore or the changes that have occurred or may occur in the future.
  • This chapter focuses mainly on the present state of the seashore.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Satisfactory
  • Students are steered towards discovering how all species are connected at the seashore, although questions provided for group discussions are left open ended.
  • The addition of visits to the seashore allows for students to reach their own conclusions about this environment.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • The possibility for interdisciplinary teaching is not expanded to its full potential, although there are possibilities provided in brief for many subject areas.
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
  • Many of the actual lessons are quite teacher directed and are meant to teach specific concepts or terms directly to the students.
  • Students do however have the experience of visiting the seashore multiple times throughout the chapter where they will be given the opportunity to experience much of what they learn first hand.
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory
  • The active visitation to the seashore will engage a diverse number of students.
  • Opportunities for differentiated instruction during classroom activities are not provided.
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory
  • No assessment methods are explicitly provided for educators or students, although there are many opportunities for group discussion.
  • Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through the creation of bulletin boards, playing games, and competitions within the classroom.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered
  • Students are not given the opportunity to share what they have learned with adults or peers.
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered
  • No relevant case studies are provided for students or teachers.
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory
  • The majority of the activities are very teacher directed and do not provide opportunity for students to take part in extension activities on subjects that may interest them.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.