In this investigation students make ocean sand globes. They can work alone, in teams or groups. The theme of their globes could be of their own choosing or assigned. Some ideas for themes include: various ocean habitats, specific ocean animals or animal groups, ocean floor or ocean shores.
Whatever theme approach you take, ask the students to submit a drawing or plan for their globe to you for approval before they begin construction. How about making a globe of your own that you can show them before they begin to help them understand what you expect? You can take one of the topics from your approved list and do a little talk about why you put what you did into your globe.
Materials for Sand Globes:
A clear glass or plastic jar with a lid. A baby food jar will work. A mayonnaise jar will work, too. Bigger than that is not recommended. 1 jar per globe.
Florist clay (from a craft store) for sticking heavy things to the bottom of the globe. Regular clay will get mushy once it sits in the water. Florist clay won't. A 1 inch square chunk per globe should be sufficient for baby food jar size globes.
Things to put in the globes. Think small and plastic or cloth. Think plastic glitter, plastic confetti and sand. Not too much and not too many per globe. If your students have prepared their own Fantasy Sand during completion of the Ocean Land sand investigation, they can use that in their globe.
A glue gun and glue sticks. Gluing is probably a job for you.
Blue and green food coloring. 1 drop per globe.
Salt – just a pinch per globe.
Sea shells other things to decorate the top of the globes if you want.
If students are going to select their own theme and/or gather their own materials here are some things they need to think about:
Don't make it too big. A small jar like a baby food jar will work. If theydecide to go bigger, they can, but very big will make it too heavy and messy. No jar bigger than a mayonnaise jar is best.
Anything they put into their globe has to be something that will not dissolve in your ocean water. Paper won't work. Most living things won't work either even if they are dead now. They will just get all yucky after awhile. They can use small sea shells, little plastic models, and other little things you find in the aquarium section of the pet store.
The things they put into their globe can't be too big either. They have to fit in the jar.
They don't want too many things in your globe. They want to be able to see them when they shake it.
Anything that is heavy like a little sand castle, rock or sea shell has to be stuck to the bottom so it won't break the glass when they shake their globe. Anything that they don't want to float around in their globe will have to be stuck to the bottom, too.
The ocean water they put in their globe will be colored. It will be some shade of blue or green or blue-green. They want the things theiy put into their globe to be seen. Things that are blue or green might not be able to be seen very well.
They want their ocean sand globe to have a theme. Their globe could be about things on a beach. It could be about things on the bottom of the ocean. It could be about things that float on the ocean or swim in the ocean. It could be about a coral reef, kelp forest or some other ocean habitat. It could be about dolphins, fish or some other ocean living thing. It could be an ocean fantasy globe with make-believe sea monsters, treasure chests and pink sand.
Assembling the globe:
Make sure that all of things to go into the globe fit in it the jar with the lid on and screwed down tight.
For heavy items, put a clump of florist clay on the inside of the jar lid. Stick items into florist clay. Set aside.
Fill the jar with water to see how much ocean water to make.
Pour the water out into another jar or bowl.
Add one drop of blue food coloring to the water. If the color is too dark, add some more water. Experiment to get the desired color.
Add a tiny pinch of salt to the water. Stir until it dissolves.
Pour ocean water into jar. Fill almost to the top.
Add remaining items to the jar. Put glitter, confetti or sand in last.
Plug in the glue gun with a glue stick.
Squeeze glue onto the inside of the jar lid all around the edge of the rim.
Put the lid on the jar and screw it down tight.
Wipe off any water that spilled or seeped out of the jar onto the lid.
Have the grown squeeze more glue all around the outside of the lid below the rim.
Don't turn it over yet. Let it sit overnight to dry completely.
Now turn it over. Give it a shake.
Glue shells or other things to the top for decoration.
Once the globes are assembled, have students share their globe in a short presentation.