Theme: The Ocean

This unit is all about the sea. There are stories about the beach, sea caves, starfish, crabs, mermaids, fishing, surfing, sailing a boat, going underwater, and more.

It is vital for teachers to understand the Ziptales 10 stage Reading Scheme, which governs how reading groups can be formed in a way which matches children’s abilities to the appropriate texts. To check on this essential resource - click here.

The 10 Zip Stages cover all levels of reading ability, from Foundation/Prep/Kindergarten through to Year 6. This scheme underpins the whole Themes module.


Learning Components

Focus Stories Comprehension Conventions Writing Speaking & Listening Extension
Zip Stage 1
The Little Green Crab
(Consonant Blends
Easy Readers)
Write or draw three problems the little green crab had after she had the magic drink. Worksheet #2:
Ordering Words
Write about or draw your favourite sea creature. Worksheet #1:
Read and Draw
Explain drawings to an audience.
Make a green crab using craft materials.
Zip Stage 1
Rainbow Bay
(Vowel/Consonant Digraphs
Easy Readers)
What happens when...
a wave hits the cliff?
a breeze blows?
the day is over?
Worksheet #1:
The Long ‘a’ Sound
Worksheet #2:
Looking at Verbs
Finish the sentence:
In the summer holidays, we... then read to an audience.
Paint a picture of Rainbow Bay.
Zip Stage 2
The Sparkly Starfish
(Vowel/Consonant Digraphs
Easy Readers)
What caused the starfish to feel sick? Write a sentence to explain it. Worksheet #1:
Small Word Hunt
Write some simple facts about starfish. In pairs, complete Worksheet #2 then read new stories aloud to an audience. Use craft materials to make a sparkly starfish.
Zip Stage 3
Wendy and the Pirate
(Storytime)
Multiple Choice Questions Worksheet & Worksheet #2:
The Story of the Map
Worksheet #1:
Mixed Up Letters
Write a story about hearing a strange sound while you are on a holiday on an island. Use the script as Reader’s Theatre. Design a 3D model of an island then build it using a variety of craft or recycled materials.
Zip Stage 3
The Magic Paint Brush
(Stories from Long Ago
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Grammar/Spelling Focus
Write about an adventure sailing across the ocean in a ship. In a small group, discuss the main message in this story. What other stories share this message? Recreate the painting that Chang painted for the rich man.
Zip Stage 3
Maui and the Giant Fish
(Stories from Long Ago
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Grammar/Spelling Focus
What would you like to catch if you had a magical fishing rod? In pairs, study a map of New Zealand. What are the oceans/seas around it called? Create the giant fish from the story using papier mache.
Zip Stage 4
Peter Pan
(Timeless Tales)
Multiple Choice Questions Worksheet & Worksheet #2:
Peter Pan’s Adventures
Worksheet #1:
Which Word?
Write a simple explanation text about what causes the tides to go in and out. Use the script (found here) to read the story as Reader’s Theatre. Draw, paint or create a collage of Hook’s ship, the Jolly Roger.
Zip Stage 5
The Mermaid
(Myths and Legends)
Explain why Joseph’s feelings about living under the sea change. General Worksheet #1:
Can You See a Silent ‘B’?
General Worksheet #3:
Life Under the Sea
Group Discussion
General Worksheet #2:
Fact or Fiction?
Research facts about King Neptune.
Zip Stage 5
Finders Keepers
(Adventure)
Write a detailed character description of Captain Sirhoy. Classify the proper nouns in the story as people, place or thing. General Worksheet #1:
Captain Sirhoy visits
In pairs, share responses to General Worksheet #2 before writing the story. Create a fact file about sea creatures that live in rock pools.
Zip Stage 5
Dr Wow in Atlantis
(Adventure)
Retell the main events in the story in your own words. General Worksheet #1:
Swapping Synonyms
General Worksheet #2:
Facts About Mammals
In a group, classify sea creatures as ‘harmless’ or ‘dangerous’. Research facts about the giant squid.
Zip Stage 6
Castaway
(True Tales)
General Worksheet #2:
The Rescue
Use the title to study compound words e.g. cast + away=castaway. Imagine you are Alexander Selkirk. Write a diary for your first week on the island. Research facts about Robinson Crusoe Island. Orally present the information. General Worksheet #1:
The Island
Zip Stage 6
The Luckiest Catch
(People)
Find 4 reasons Henry uses to try to get out of taking Molly fishing. General Worksheet #2:
Who Said It?
General Worksheet #3:
Sea Creatures
Brainstorm fun activities involving the ocean. General Worksheet #1:
Word Brainstorm
Zip Stage 6
The Fisherman and his Wife
(Fairy Tales)
What is the main idea? How do the events support the main idea? General Worksheet #1:
Adjective Hunt
Complete General Worksheet #3 then write a story about it. Small group activity - General Worksheet #2:
Act it Out!
What jobs involve the ocean? Choose one to research.
Zip Stage 6
The Pirates’ Cave
(Adventure)
Compare how Ginger feels about Bruce at the beginning/end of the story. General Worksheet #1:
Speech Marks Galore!
General Worksheet #3:
Reporter for a Day
Present an oral report about a famous pirate. General Worksheet #2:
Wanted: Dead or Alive!
Zip Stage 7
Capsize!
(True Tales)
Use details from the story to create a timeline of events from Sunday – Thursday. General Worksheet #1:
Abbreviations &
General Worksheet #2:
Design a Glossary
Write a narrative using the title ‘Trapped under the sea!’ Work in pairs to complete
General Worksheet #3:
Survival of the Fittest
Research facts about the Whitbread Yacht Race (now known as the Volvo Ocean Race).
Zip Stage 7
Kay Cottee’s Adventures
(True Tales)
General Worksheet #2:
Dear Diary...
General Worksheet #1:
A Dash of This and a Dash of That...
Write an information text about another real life ocean rescue. Present an oral report about a teenager who has sailed around the world (e.g. Jessica Watson, Jesse Martin). General Worksheet #3:
Australians of the Year
Zip Stage 7
The Ghost Ship
(True Tales)
General Worksheet #1:
What Really Happened?
General Worksheet #2:
Sailing Ships
General Worksheet #3:
Read All About It!
In pairs, research different types of dangerous sharks. Create a fact file about how coral reefs are formed.
Zip Stage 7
The Little Mermaid
(Fairy Tales)
Summarise how the mermaid is feeling on each page of the story. General Worksheet #1:
Handy Homographs
General Worksheet #3:
Imagine If...
Partner Activity – General Worksheet #2:
Just a Dash
Design a brochure about the Great Barrier Reef.
Zip Stage 8
The Titanic
(True Tales)
General Worksheet #2:
Fact or Opinion?
General Worksheet #1:
Apostrophes of Ownership
General Worksheet #3:
Keeping a Journal
In pairs, research the locations of the seven oceans of the world. General Worksheet #4:
Exploring Icebergs
Zip Stage 8
Blackbeard the Pirate
(True Tales)
General Worksheet #2:
Life at Sea
Classify proper nouns in the story (e.g. names of people, places, things). Write an informative text about what barnacles are. Present an oral report about history of the Jolly Roger flag. General Worksheet #1:
Writing a Description.
Zip Stage 9
Trapped!
(Horror
Advanced Library)
Use details from the story to write the final chapter. How is punctuation (e.g. capital letters, ellipses) used for effect in the text? Worksheet #1:
Trapped in Real Life
Worksheet #2:
Real Cave Diving Adventures
Worksheet #2
Extension Activity 3
(SCUBA research)
Zip Stage 9
The Stones
(People & Values
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #1:
Who’s Telling This Story?
Create a glossary for slang words used in the story e.g. guts, wag, swell, bogan (pg 1). Worksheet #2:
The Power of the Stone
Write a persuasive text about why surfing is a great ocean activity and present to an audience. Locate and perform some simple science experiments to show how salt water and fresh water are different.
Zip Stage 9
Sinbad
(Adventure
Advanced Library)
Explain how Sinbad escapes the dangerous situations he encounters in the story. Worksheet #1:
Changing Verbs into Nouns
Worksheet #2:
Legendary Monsters
Create a multimedia presentation about the most horrifying real life deep sea creatures. Retell ‘The Fisherman and the Genie’ (another Arabian Knights tale) in a creative way.
Zip Stage 10
Mayday
(True Tales
Advanced Library)
Explain briefly the sequence of events that led to the Cookie Cutter being located. Worksheet #1:
Dot, Dot, Dot...
(ellipsis study)
Worksheet #1
Extension Activities – Information report or brochure
Worksheet #2
Extension Activities – Present chosen task to an audience
Worksheet #2:
Measuring the Elements
Zip Stage 10
Nightmare Island
(Adventure
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #1:
Action-Packed Adventures
(Task 1)
How are acronyms (e.g. EPIRB) and abbreviations (e.g. SOS) different? Research some common recognisable examples. Worksheet #1:
Action-Packed Adventures
(Task 2)
Worksheet #2:
Nightmarish Cyclones
Research devices used to help locate people lost at sea e.g. EPIRB (pg 6).


Assessment Ideas

Spelling/Grammar
  • Make a list of words related to the topic for use as a spelling list e.g. island, fishing, mermaid, pirate, ocean, sea, strait, ship, boat, swimming and beach.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Write a list of words that use the word ‘sea’ as a base word. Define each word and list in alphabetical order.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing use of apostrophes of possession and contractions.
Reading
  • Complete the Fill the Gaps and Multiple Choice questions at the end of the story (available for the Junior Readers, Reading Library and Advanced Library genre stories).
  • Use the Learning Support Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Design a cause and effect chart for the events in one of the on-line stories.
  • Write a blurb for one of the on-line stories.
  • Design a crossword using facts from one of the on-line stories.
Writing
  • Write a narrative using the following story starter: You are lying on the beach, minding your own business, when all of a sudden...
  • Write an information report about the causes and effects of a tsunami.
  • Write an explanation text about a fun ocean-related activity e.g.
    How to Body Surf
    How to Play Beach Cricket
    How to Make an Awesome Sandcastle
Oral Language
  • Role-play one of the on-line stories to the class.
  • Locate a poem or write a poem about the ocean and recite it verbally to an audience using voice intonation and projection.
  • Present an oral report about the oceans of the world.
  • Conduct a class debate using the topic: Swimming in the ocean is better than swimming in a pool.
Related Ziptales Activities:

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