Imagine being stranded on a deserted island without communicating with the outside world. What if you could craft a message, seal it in a bottle, cast it out to sea, and wonder what the future holds? That’s the power of a timeless concept: Message in a Bottle! We’ll explore its history, detail incredible stories about how they’ve been used throughout time, and teach you how to make your own captivating message in a bottle with your students!
1. Explore the History of Messages in Bottles
Take a deep dive into 10 fascinating true stories about writers and recipients of messages in bottles throughout history. Engage your students in a discussion and analyze the messages to get a historical glimpse into the past!
Learn more: WatchMojo
2. Analyzing the News
Students can summarize a news article using the 5W template and write their own messages for bottles. Additionally, they can watch a news video about American students who sent messages across the ocean.
Learn more: ELT Buzz Teaching Resources
3. Upper Elementary Writing Templates
Let your students’ imaginations soar! They can complete this fill-in-the-blank writing template as if they’ve found someone’s message in a bottle on the beach. Encourage students to craft their own replies using the template as a guide.
Learn more: GlowScotland
4. Shiver Me Timbers
Students can use their creative thinking skills to create their own deserted islands by assembling a fun LEGO project. The kit comes with materials needed to create a beach scene with a curious crab and an itty-bitty bottle with a mini message inside.
Learn more: LEGO
5. Grow an Ecosystem
Split students into groups. Give each group a 2-liter soda bottle, gravel/soil, pebbles, a plant with a seed (pea/bean), and an insect. Cut the bottle 1/3 from the top. Write a message to the insect. Fill the bottle with materials and tape the top back on. Students can then record the observations for 3 weeks.
Learn more: Albuquerque Public Schools
6. Authentic-looking Glass Bottle
Each small group will need an empty wine bottle. Remove the label, write a message, and add your return contact information. Seal the message inside the bottle and then cast it into the sea. Wouldn’t it be amazing if, one day, your students got a response?
Learn more: wikiHow
7. Time Capsule Memories
Children can write a custom message about the current year, a special memory, or their future goals using this printable activity. Use the paper jar or decorate a real bottle. Keep the messages in a time capsule to show the students when they graduate.
Learn more: Classroom Secrets
8. Analyzing Music
Introduce the song, “Message in a Bottle” by The Police and instruct students to listen and pay attention to what happens after the castaway sends a message. Students will share in pairs. Provide lyrics and then have your students discuss whether the lyrics are literal or metaphorical before discussing the meaning.
Learn more: Scribd
9. CVC Word Practice
If you’re teaching Kindergarten and looking for ways to reinforce phonics skills, try these templates, which offer a range of CVC word-building activities that can help your students practice and improve their phonics skills.
Learn more: Mrs Learning Bee
10. Tidal Currents Bottle Story
Students near coasts can release drift bottles in the ocean with stamped, school-addressed postcards to track coastal currents. Bottles will be dropped from a boat, and finders will write the location and date on the postcard before mailing it back.
Learn more: Ogo APES
11. Drawing an Adorable Message in a Bottle
In this video, students will learn how to draw a message in a bottle with a helpful step-by-step guide. They’ll only need paper, a pen, a pencil, an eraser, and markers.
Learn more: Shoo Rayner Drawing
12. Releasing Emotional Experiences
School counselors help your students process complex experiences, such as grief, traumatic events, or other deeply emotional experiences, with this unique activity. Encourage your students to express their feelings by writing about a traumatic memory, placing it in an actual or metaphorical bottle, and then releasing or destroying the message.
Learn more: IZUMI Depth Therapy
13. GPS-Tracked Bottles
As a class, students will analyze this STEM article about how scientists use tracking devices to gather crucial data about how plastic travels in the ocean, including researching risks that plastic contamination poses to marine life.
Learn more: Ocean Protect
14. Sensory Bin Messages
Create a sensory bin using rice and beans. Write a message or task in glass vials and hide it in the bin for your students to find. They’ll practice their fine motor skills by using tweezers to extract and read the message inside.
Learn more: Miss Renee OT
15. Tiny Bottle Project
Challenge students to craft a miniature message in a bottle using an empty water bottle. Fill it halfway with sand and pebbles, add a simple message, and seal it with a cork. In a step-by-step “how-to” assignment, students will describe the construction of their project.
Learn more: Craft Elf
16. Water Bottle Bingo
Fill bottles with plastic or foam letters, numbers, and shapes in assorted colors. Secure the top with hot glue or tape and shake the bottle. Use the bingo sheet and dot markers to record what is discovered; including the alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes.
Learn more: The Preschool Toolbox Blog
17. Read-Aloud Activity
Follow this intriguing read-aloud story as Afia and Hassan discover a message in a bottle! Students will learn vocabulary words and answer comprehension questions.
Learn more: Online Teaching Lab
18. Diversify Your Lessons
This resource offers diverse activities for all ages. Students will learn message-in-bottle history, decrypt codes, create patterns, respond to local newsletters, analyze text, craft messages for bottles, and find parts of speech in the newspaper for a challenge.
Learn more: Kid Scoop
19. Crafting a Love Jar
To make a Love Jar, all you need is a jar of any size with a screw-on lid. Jot down reasons for loving each family member or classmate on small notes and address them to specific individuals on the back. Crafting their own reasons can help students enhance their writing abilities.
Learn more: So Festive!
20. Teeny Tiny Bottles
Perfect as Valentine’s craft, your students will love creating this mini message in a bottle. Students will use 1.5-inch glass vials, a needle and thread, scissors, and custom messages or printed messages.
Learn more: Michele Baratta