Teaching Heart's Beach Thematic Unit
Put on your sunglasses and grab a lemonade... You will be laying in the shine of
your computer and swimming around this page for beach ideas to use in your classroom. You will find beach
crafts, beach lessons, beach books, beach activity sheets, and many more beach goodies.
Okay you are getting hot, it is time to jump in and find an idea or two!

Updated -May 2013

Great Beach Books and Ideas To Match!
Books are an excellent and fun way to indroduce a unit. Read at least one beach book a day to your class while you are working on a beach unit! Here are a few beach books that would be great to read. Under some of the books are ideas for activities to match or links to other sites with great lessons or ideas that go along with the book! If you would like to learn more about the book or purchase the book, just click on the book title and you will be taken to the book at Amazon.com. Use your back button to return to the site.

Tar Beach : C (Dragonfly Books)

First Second Grade Lesson

The Teacher makes a drawing of a stick figure girl with a dress. This will be used later with the entire class to fill in the main character's name, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Her name will be written on her dress. Her thoughts will be written beside her head. Her feelings will be written close to her heart. Her actions will be listed close to her feet. This will be done on a large sheet of chart paper and placed in an area of the room so that it will be visible to all of the class, and so that it can be used when discussing these parts of the story.

Take a picture walk through the book, Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold. Predict what we think the book will be about. Read the book, Tar Beach, aloud together. Predicting what will happen next while reading.

On a map of New York state first locate New York City, then Manhattan and finally the George Washington Bridge (which connects New Jersey and New York). This bridge was built in 1931 and is one of the first suspension bridges in the United States.

Clifford The Big Red Dog: The Missing Beach Ball

Two Activities to match this book are found on Teaching Heart's Teaching Reading a Literature # 4

-Sequence Sentence Strips (1-3)
Sentence strips that match the story, The Missing Beach Ball. You can place these in a pocket chart and have your students place them in the correct order or you may choose to use these to retell the story to your students.

- Clifford and The Beach Ball Retell Fill In The Blank
Student activity sheet. Student uses word bank to fill in the blanks of a retell. This would make a great follow-up activity to the pocket chart sentence strip sequence above.(1-3)

Click here to learn more about this item

The Rainbow Fish

Click to learn more about the book or purchase!

Who does not love the Rainbow Fish Books? A selfish beautiful fish realizes his wrong doings and finds out in the end the true way to happiness. It really is a beautiful story and a great way to teach little ones about kindness and sharing! I have used the story in my Third Grade Sunday School class and even the older kiddos still enjoy the story and recall why it is better to love and be kind than to be selfish. I created this mini unit for Preschool and Kindergarten to go along with a Rainbow Theme… we are doing a day all about the Rainbow fish and tying it into the colors of the Rainbow. I created math and reading extensions to match the book. I also created centers, games, and a craft to match… You can see some of my ideas below and if you would like the reproducibles for the items, you can find them by clicking here!

Click here to download the index of files in This Rainbow Fish PAck

The Big Book - Click to learn more

Below are activities from our Rainbow Fish Literature Extension (perfect for a Beach Theme) – Get it here!

First picture is a trace, cut, and paste Rainbow Fish math activity.
Second is a mini coloring book that retells the story for at home reading.
Last is a great math game – KIDS love this!!!
Get it here!


We made our Rainbow Fish for old CD’s. The template is in our Rainbow Fish Pack. Get it here!


We know what makes Rainbow Fish Happy and Sad… You can have fun seeing him mad and sleepy in this pocket chart! Get it here!

The above Rainbow Fish Math Board Game is soooooo much fun! Get it here!

Rainbow Fish Counting Puzzles in Color or Black and White! Get it here!

Roll a Rainbow Fish Dice Game – Practice learning shapes and colors too!

There is lots more to see!!! Get it here!

Comet's Nine Lives

Click Here to Learn More About The book

Click here for many great lesson ideas

Print Bookmarks

Click here for great books and Ideas to Match for an Ocean Theme

If you are creating a beach theme in your classsroom, here is a perfect book for you to read to your class.

After reading the story, have the students retell the story. Have them sort the pictures of what the old lady swallowed first, second, & third.
Click here to download the pictures of the items the lady swallowed. Print, cut, and laminate them before you use them.

Have students create an Old Lady that they can use to act out the story. Use a ziploc baggie for the belly and have the students draw the pictures of the items the lady swallowed. I have a printable lady (as seen below) you can use to put on a baggie. Click to learn more about how to download her!

Use vocab cards in your pocket chart for your students to refer to when writing about this story in their journals.
Click here to download the cards that match the story.

Click here to download a write and draw activity to match this book.

Also make an apron with the Old Lady Beach to retell the story. My apron is below. The kids can put it on and place items the lady eats in the mouth. They love this and it is a great way to get kids retelling. If you would like to download the printables to make this apron - click here to learn more.

You can purchase child aprons at Michael's craft store.

Play the dice game too... Click here to learn how to download!

Fun Beach Ideas
Below are many great ideas to use during your beach unit!

Here's a great idea for a class bulletin board center display! Who doesn't love Flip Flops? Here is a fun Flip Flop Glyph you can have your class make. Key is included and a few activities to match. Once you display all the glyphs, students can tally and graph all the summer details from their classmates!



The Glyph and files below can be found by clicking here!
The flip flop math files are great for a summer review of first grade math skills!!

Here is a free Summer Bucket Glyph and Writting Activity that would make a fun beach craft!
The Printables to make this are free. Just print all on card stock.

Click here to download the files to make this fun Summer Bucket List and Craft!

How about some beach themed FREE & fun Worksheets?

1.) Summer Funny Money Sheet – students add up the coins and solve the summer riddle!

Summer Funny Money Joke Math

2.) I Spy Summer – Counting and Graphing Summer Objects
I Spy Summer Graphing Worksheet
3.) Following Directions for Summer – Reading Comprehension
Summer Following Directions Worksheet

Click Here to Download All 4 FREE Summer Fun Worksheets!

4.) Summer Add and Color

Summer Add and Color Worksheet

Click Here to Download All 4 FREE Summer Fun Worksheets!

No Time For Flashcards shares the Jelly Fish Craft!

*Pretend to "sunbathe" on large sheets of paper "towels" (use large newsprint or grocery bags but to lie flat.) Help children to feel comfortable to make designs on the paper that will become their "towels". They can even draw "Me" pictures on their paper and outline their bodies by helping each other. Children can decorate their "Me Towels" by using markers, crayons etc.  They might even cut and paste real material scraps for bathing suits.

Check out Just For Fun to learn how you can make this hand and foot lobster! I am in love wuth this cute idea!!!

* Sea Shells! Write the words BIG and LITTLE on two pieces of paper. Children can sort shells accordingly. Draw a sample size to help non-readers. Set out a book of shells so older children can find matches. Very young children will simply enjoy examining the shells. Talk about the colors of shells and how the sun has bleached them.

Check out Teaching Two to see how to make these cool castles.

Hawaiian Beach Scenes:
Give the children each a sheet of light blue construction paper. Let them make "beaches" by brushing glue across the bottoms of their papers and sprinkling sand on the glue  (use white sand, if available). Then let them glue on small shells and precut sun shapes, palm tree shapes, beach ball shapes, etc. to complete their beach scenes

End of The Year Beach Gift Set:

Buy a Sand Pail and Fill it with Learning Activities for your Students

-Teaching Heart Summer Game Board - Practice Any Skill

-Fruit Snacks and a Sorting Sheet

-Beach Book

Make Edible Beach

Or make individual ones for each classmate!!!
Cut a fruit roll up for a towel and lay a teddy graham on the towel. Use blue sugar for water. Use ocean themed gummies!

Click Here to Learn More!!!

2 (20 oz.) pkgs. GOLDEN Oreo cookies
1/2 stick butter
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
3 1/2 c. milk
2 sm. French vanilla instant pudding boxes
1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip

Cream the butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Mix pudding together with the milk, add the Cool Whip to pudding mixture. Then blend in with the cream cheese mixture.

Crumble the Oreo's in a blender, leave the cream in the Oreo's.

Use a sand pail to fill with your yummy treat. Alternating cookie crumbs and filling, ending with the cookie crumbs on top. Top with a sand shovel for serving.

Get out the Beach Balls
If you are doing a beach thematic unit with your class, you need beach balls. Check out all the cool things you can do with beach balls! What a ball your students will have!!!!!

The dollar stores has out all of their summer fun treats; like, BEACH BALLS! Here are a few ideas of ways to use those beach balls.

1.) Write out the numbers on the top and bottom sections. Throw the ball gently to a child and they have to add the numbers where there thumbs are.

2.) Another game is to sit in a circle and count to a specific number. Whoever says that number has to go to the center of the circle. Keep going till there are two left. Everyone yells showdown and they play till we we have a winner . I have done this with counting by 2's, 5's, 10's, days of the week, months, etc. Easy and quick and they really like it a lot!

3.) Today my son and I tried to see how many times we could throw it to each other without dropping it. We set a timer for one minute to see how many times we could throw it to each other.

4.) Like musical chairs, but with a beach ball. Pass the ball around the circle, when the music stops the person holding the ball is out!

5.) Write your child's site words on the ball. Through the ball to your child, whatever their right hand is on is the word they need to read.

Beach Ball Coloring!! After coloring the picture my son dictated a story about the picture and I wrote it out. Then he reread the story he dictated.

Scholastic shares ideas to use with your baby.

8.) Masking tape one Princess Polly Pocket for each child all around a beach ball. Turn on your child's favorite music and pass the beach ball around. When the music turns off, whoever has the ball gets to rip off a Princess and keep it! Then that child can sit down and the rest can continue playing until all the Princesses are gone. Great for parties -- or for anytime special occasions.

9.) Read a Beach Ball Book to your kiddos

_____ Grade Was a Ball! - Cover a bulletin board with a "beachy" background. Include a sun, water, and sand. Bounce around a beach ball one day in class and discuss what a "ball" the year has been. As you pass the ball to a each student have them discuss what they liked best about the year. Then cut out large circles for everyone in your class. Have the students color the white balls to resemble a beach ball. After they have colored their ball, have them place a piece of white lined paper in the center of the ball. Have the students write about their favorite experience in grade ____. Then place the balls onto the beach scene.

Make a Beach Ball Bead Craft With Your Class

The Teaching Heart End of the Year Packet has a few ideas to use with a Beach or Beach Ball Theme!

Beach Ball Add & Subtract Facts Memory

To Play:  Played like old fashion memory.  Break your students into teams of 2-4.  Your students mix the cards up and then lay the cards face down in rows.  To play they take turns in a clockwise fashion.  The first student turns over a card and then turns over another card.  If they make a match, they keep the cards and go again until they do not make a match.  If they don’t make a match, the next person goes.  Play until all the cards are gone.  The student with the most cards wins.

All materials need to make this center are found in the End of the Year Packet

Beach Ball Color a Rhyme

Page one is yours to read.  Give page two to the students in your class.  Read each one and have students volunteer the color word that fits the rhyme.  Then the class may color in the correct number of colored balls on their page.  When you are finished reading each little rhyme, you can evaluate how well your students were listening by being sure they colored the balls the correct color.

All materials need to make this center are found in the End of the Year Packet

Also in the packet...

Hope you dig up a sweet summer – This is a dollar store sand shovel and some sweet tarts.
Click to see more fun End of The Year Treats!

Beach Activity Sheets to Print
Online you will find many activity sheets. coloring sheets, and worksheets that are made for a beach theme.
You may need to use one of these during a lesson.


Don't you love these graphics? I do! Graphic Garden has the best graphics. I use many of the
free sets on my pages. I just love them! Go chevk out the site!