Week 8:Porifera and Ocean Geography

Week 8: Porifera and Ocean Geography


1) Read chapter 5 of the Seaside Naturalist.

  • Be familiar with basic sponge anatomy including the following terms: ostia, oscula, choanocyte, spicule.
  • Be able to explain how sponges are classified.
  • What does “Porifera”  mean?
  • what does sessile mean?
  • Sketch and label a basic sponge in your notebook.

*Younger kids may want to visit the sponge pages at Enchanted Learning for basic info and some diagrams to label.

2.) Visit the tree of life website to view some beautiful sponge images and sponge movies.

3.) You know what’s next, right? Go out and observe some sponges! Visit lots of habitats and try to find as many types as you can. Either take pictures or sketch what you find and put the pictures into your notebook.  Be sure to note where (in what habitat type) you found your sponges (washed up on beach, attached to sea floor, attached to mangrove roots, in a seagrass bed, coral reef, etc.). Also, make note of the size of the sponge, and if you are sketching also note the color, in case you need to color them in later.

4. ) Feel the texture of  several live sponges. How would you describe it? Do different species have different textures? What about dead ones on the beach? How does the texture of a live sponge compare to natural sponges bought at a store?

5.) Try to identify your sponges if possible. It isn’t exactly easy, but you should be able to get a few. Use a local guide or ask a local ranger, naturalist, etc.

6.) Observe a live sponge  for a while if you can. In very calm water you might want to try putting some very fine clay/silt or food dye in the water near the base of the sponge and see if you can detect it being drawn into the sponge through the ostia and out through the excurrent siphons.

Ocean Geography

7.) If you don’t know them already, now is the time to learn the names and locations of the oceans and major seas. Print up a blank world map, label the oceans/seas, and put it into your notebook. Read all about each ocean here. Copy the single most interesting fact about each ocean into your notebook beneath your map.

***Younger children can try this Enchanted Learning printout, and this simple online ocean/continent quiz game. If you have the Montessori Puzzle map of the oceans, now would be a good time to pull it out and present it.

8.) Check out the info on this web page about the ocean floor. Copy the sea floor diagram into your notebook and label it. We will be learning more about what each of these areas is like, and what organisms live there in the following weeks. In the meantime, you can read more about them here.

9.) Make a model of the ocean floor. Use the material of your choice: salt-dough, modeling clay, sculpey,  papier mache, whatever.  Send me a picture!



  1. We are going on to this week now (a tad behind!). My dd created a great Power Point presentation with what she has learned thus far for her project week as we are so far from the ocean now. She is going to incorporate the Power Point presentation into her learning log for the continuation of her Marine Bio. studies this year so it should be great by the time the year(s) is through!
    Thanks so much (pictures to follow later when that silly camera of mine is fixed again!),


  2. Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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