In this free shark unit study, you’ll find all kinds of information, pictures, videos and more to help your kiddos learn about sharks. This unit study can be done any time of year, especially during Shark Week! If you’re like our family and you don’t have cable TV, you can still stream Shark Week on Discovery+. Let’s learn about some sharks!
All About Sharks Unit Study
What are sharks?
Sharks are aquatic, gill-bearing animals that lack limbs. Instead of limbs, sharks have pectoral fins that are not fused to the head along with skeleton primarily composed of cartilage, and five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head. They have numerous sets of replaceable teeth. Sharks have a covering of dermal denticles (scales) that protect their skin from damage and parasites. These types of scales also improve their fluid dynamics. Since the first known shark, (which I believe was when God created fish), there have been over 500 species counted.
Different Species of Sharks
Well-known species such as the tiger shark, blue shark, great white shark, Mako shark, thresher shark, and hammerhead shark are apex predators — organisms at the top of their underwater food chain.
The tiger shark is a large macropredator, capable of attaining a length over 16 ft 5 in. Populations are found in many tropical and temperate waters, especially around central Pacific islands. Its name derives from the dark stripes down its body, which resemble a tiger’s pattern, but fade as the shark matures.
The blue shark inhabits deep waters in the world’s temperate and tropical oceans. Averaging around 10 ft. and preferring cooler waters, the blue shark migrates long distances, such as from New England to South America. They can move very quickly. Blue sharks are viviparous and are noted for large litters of 25 to over 100 pups. They feed primarily on small fish and squid, although they can take larger prey. Maximum lifespan is still unknown, but it is believed that they can live up to 20 years.
Great White Shark
The great white shark, also known as the white shark, white pointer, or simply great white, is a species of large mackerel shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. It is notable for its size, with larger female individuals growing to 20 ft in length and 4,200–5,000 lb in weight at maturity. The great white shark has no known natural predators other than, on very rare occasions, the killer whale.
The shortfin mako shark, also known as the blue pointer or bonito shark, is a large mackerel shark. It is commonly referred to as the mako shark, as is the longfin mako shark. The shortfin mako can reach a size of 13 ft in length. The shortfin mako shark is a fairly large species of shark. Growth rates appear to be somewhat accelerated in comparison to other species. The largest taken on hook-and-line was 1,300 lb, caught off the coast of California on June 3, 2013.
The hammerhead sharks are a group of sharks that are named for the unusual and distinctive structure of their heads, which are flattened and laterally extended into a “hammer” shape called a cephalofoil. Hammerheads are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. Unlike most sharks, some hammerhead species usually swim in schools during the day, becoming solitary hunters at night.
DIY Shark Snacks
Give your shark unit study and edible turn with these easy and fun snack ideas!
Simply combine lemon-lime soda and a splash of a blue sports drink and whoolah – ocean water! Add shark gummies, peach gummy rings, and a fun-striped straw and there ya have it!
Put 1 shark gummy in each ice cube slot and fill the spaces with water. Pop the tray in the freezer and a couple hours later your kiddos will have frozen shark cubes!
The yogurt and cool whip combination make this fun dessert light, fluffy and yummy! Head over to Mommy’s Fabulous Finds to see just how easy it is to make!
Wrap up your shark unit study with a few hands-on activities!
Shark Sensory Bin
Head to the Dollar Tree and pick up:
- plastic bin (equivalent to a shoe box size)
- blue and white fish tank rocks
- plastic sharks
You can also used cut up clue straws, blue construction paper ripped into strips, or anything else you may have around your home. Combine all the supplies into the bin and let your young kiddos have a blast and be creative!
Three-ingredient slime? Yes, please! There is so much that can be learned during the making process. And it’s super fun to play with!
This animal science experiment will help kids learn why sharks do not sink. All you need are 5 supplies and a little bit of time. This is perfect if you’re homeschooling older kiddos.
All About Sharks Unit Study Bundle
I created this resource with homeschooling families of multiples in mind. In this packet you will find a variety of activities that span across multiple subjects and touch base with various concepts such as:
- Language Arts/English
- Creative Writing/Research
- Beginner Reading
- and more!
Your kiddos will enjoy engaging activities like:
- Shark Math (with shark pieces and a tank!)
- Beginner Readers Sight Word book
- Shark Research
- Cursive Writing
- Shark Anatomy labeling
- and much more!
How to Use the All About Sharks Unit Study Bundle
This packet can be used as a unit study lesson on its own or be used in conjunction with other curriculum resources. Each page is marked with a letter and number to indicate grade level. For example, K1 would be kindergarten, level 1. E3 would be elementary grade/level 3. M6 would be middle school, grade 6.
This is a great resource to use during Shark Week! Watch different episodes and shows to help with bringing your kids well-rounded lessons about sharks!
More about this resource:
- There are a total of 30 pages.
- It comes with an “Additional Resources’ page with clickable links.
- The grade range is Kindergarten through 8th grade. Use your best judgment with the activity pages.
- This is a digital resource only.
2 BONUS RESOURCES INCLUDED!!!
Sharks 3-Part Flashcards
Enjoy 15 nomenclature-style flashcards plus shark facts about each one included on the flashcards. Simply print on card stock paper, laminate, and cut! Use the shark facts pages to teach your kids about each shark.
Sharks Activity Pack
Give your kiddos the opportunity to design their own shark with four different shark templates. They’ll also be able to build their own shark habitat with shark, coral reef, and other fish cutouts. This pack also includes two puzzles (one easy and one semi-hard) that should printed on card stock, laminated and cut out.