Jellyfish are absolutely beautiful and fascinating animals. Get your students excited about your School Ocean Unit by reading this blog about jellyfish activities. You will find 28 ways to add to your engaging lessons with bright colors and science activities.
Whether it's reading an article about jellyfish, watching a short video clip, or crafting one of these amazing jellyfish activities, this list will provide you will some inspiration to supplement your student's learning with some jellyfish fun.
1. Jellyfish Salt Painting
This is one colorful jellyfish craft that can be used at the beginning of your unit. All you need is glue, heavy paper, a paintbrush, watercolors or blue food coloring, and some salt. Students will marvel at the texture the salt creates when it is placed on the glue.
Learn more: I Heart Arts n Crafts
2. Make a Suncatcher
Here is another jellyfish craft activity. You will need many colors of tissue paper, contact paper, black construction paper, and wrapping ribbon. Once complete, have students tape their suncatchers to a window and leave them up for the duration of your unit.
Learn more: I Heart Arts n Crafts
3. Carboard Tube Craft
This beautiful craft requires a paper towel roll, string, a single-hole puncher, and various colors of tempera paint. Get help from a custodian to hang these from your ceiling to set a fun mood for your under-the-sea unit.
Learn more: Buggy and Buddy
4. Pool Noodle Jellyfish
Only a few items are needed for this craft. Ask students to save bubble wrap from their Amazon packages a few weeks ahead of time. Then you will need to purchase teal plastic lacing and pool noodles to create the jellyfish body shape.
Learn more: Mama Miss
5. Paper Bag Jellyfish
I love this jellyfish craft activity. You will need multiple sets of crinkle-cut craft scissors to make the tentacles. Be sure to have students glue their eyes on it after they are finished painting. These can be used as a prop during a jellyfish presentation.
Learn more: No Time For Flash Cards
6. Fact vs. Fiction
While you can certainly use the printout found in the link below, I would make this a more hands-on activity by cutting out the ten sentences. Have students make a simple T-chart break up the facts and the fiction, and then have groups race to see who can put the cutouts in the correct place.
Learn more: The Mailbox
7. Teach The Basics
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is such a great resource for an under-the-sea unit. This short three-minute video is the perfect clip to introduce students to your ocean-themed day. It's colorful and full of facts to get the wheels turning.
Learn more: Monterey Bay Aquarium
8. Learn Fun Facts
After watching the video in number seven, print these facts out and place them around the room. Have students travel around your classroom as they read about each fact. Call on three to four students to share what they learned.
Learn more: Jelly Watch
9. Visit an Aquarium
What can be better than watching amazing jellyfish swimming in real life? If you haven't already planned your field trips for the year, consider going to an aquarium. Students will learn so much more about the ocean when they can interact with its animals.
Learn more: Attractions of America
10. Learn the Anatomy
Here's a simple jellyfish body parts activity sheet perfect for introducing jellyfish anatomy. I would give this diagram with the labels whited out. Students can use the paper as guided notes as they follow along to complete the labels with you.
11. Do a Word Search
Everyone enjoys doing a word search. It's a productive way to fill a few extra minutes of class while reinforcing key terms. Use this jellyfish printable for a fun Friday activity, or to help introduce key terms in the jellyfish unit.
Learn more: Thought Co.
12. Fill in The Blank
Once you have taught students about jellyfish and their habit, have them complete this worksheet. Modify it by including a word bank for students with an individualized education plan, or keep it as is for your general education students.
Learn more: Thought Co.
13. Get a Vocabulary List
This list has eighteen words that are all about the jellyfish life cycle. Have students turn these into flashcards so they can quiz themselves and each other. After reviewing it in detail, use this list as part of your next assessment.
Learn more: Vocabulary.com
14. Play Quizlet Live
Quizzes with auto-correcting, here we come! Pre-made digital activities make lesson planning a cinch. Quizlet Live will randomly place your students into groups. They will then race to answer the vocabulary questions and are bounced back to the start for each incorrect answer.
Learn more: Quizlet
15. Watch a Video
This video will talk about the difference between a cone jelly and a moon jellyfish. You'll find that the moon jellies are much larger than cone jellyfish and that they do not sting humans. I had no idea that some jellyfish didn't sting!
Learn more: Sea Coast Science CTR
16. Conduct Research
Are you looking for a lesson plan on the cycle of jellyfish? Have students conduct their own guided research with this outline. Since students will need to visit jellwatch.org to complete the assignment, you may need to reserve time in the library.
Learn more: MBARI.org
17. Explore National Geographic
Kids National Geographic has a slideshow, video, and jellyfish facts all on one webpage. If students have their own devices, I would have them explore this webpage on their own at the beginning of the unit before conducting a think, pair, and share.
Learn more: National Geographic
18. Learn About Safety
All of us have heard of a jellyfish sting is painful, but what should you actually do if you come in contact with jellyfish? Share the useful information on this webpage with your students so they know what to do in case they're stung.
Learn more: Kids Health
19. Discover Five Facts
Use your digital classroom to dive into these five facts. Post the link and have students review them on their own. Alternatively, you can print out each of the five facts and have students walk around the room to discover each one.
Learn more: One Earth
20. Read a Book on Jellyfish
Since this 335-page book is for grades five and up, it offers engaging reading material for a wide range of levels. I would have students read this book prior to starting your ocean-themed unit. Or, if you're an English teacher, coordinate with science to read this concurrently.
Learn more: Amazon
21. Have a Sensory Day
Even middle schoolers enjoy hands-on activities. Since these figures take two to three days to grow to their full size, I would have my students place them in water on Monday and check back for a daily measurement on subsequent days.
Learn more: Amazon
22. Make a Paper Jellyfish
Add this to your list of fun activities for when you have a few extra minutes at the end of a lesson. Students will love creating these cute jellyfish with googly eyes. Have lots of paper colors available for students to choose from.
Learn more: Non-Toy Gifts
23. Paint a Rock
Exciting activities are needed to break up everyday learning. Have students paint their favorite sea creature at the beginning, middle, or end of your ocean-themed unit. Place them around school grounds, or allow students to bring them home.
Learn more: The Inspiration Edit
24. Handprint Jellyfish
Here's a silly craft project that students will have fun with and laugh about. Be sure to have many wet towels nearby for students to wipe their hands off after they create their handprint jellyfish. Glue the googly eyes on at the end!
Learn more: Red Ted Art
25. Cut and Paste
After days of lesson plans, take a brain break with this simple yet effective activity. It's easy to confuse the oral arms with the tentacles, but this cut and paste activity will help cement the difference. Will one of your pupils be the next Sarah Lyn Gay?
Learn more: Simple Everyday Mom
26. Take an Assessment
Many of the ideas listed above were tailored to the beginning of your unit. Here is something you can do at the end as part of an overall summative assessment. Print this out to use as a study guide, or make it the actual test.
Learn more: ISL Collective
27. Color a Diagram
You may want to stick with the simplicity in idea number ten above or get more in-depth with this graphic. This is a great diagram for children to see all the moon jellyfish parts. Color & learn as this jellyfish body comes to life. How many body organs can your students label on their own?
Learn more: Cronodon
28. Complete a Math Maze
Educational activities at their finest! Add up each number so you go through it to get from the beginning to the end. Start at the jellyfish and work your way to the octopus as your brain constantly calculates its way through this mathematical maze.
Learn more: Crush Pixel