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Theme - Ocean/Beach Theme

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Looking to turn your classroom into an underwater world or beach paradise? Here's a collection of ideas to use to help you with your ocean or beach themed classroom.

First Grade
Posted by: MissC83

I did an ocean theme this year... Here are a few things I did:

-"Fin-Tastic" First Graders bulletin board with student work
-Students had their own fish magnet and chose their fish food every morning (lunch count)
-I bought an octopus at the teacher store and we created our 8 rules for our classroom and I wrote them on the tentacles.
-Students made fish out of foam and cd's and they were hanging from the ceiling...very eye catching (
-I'm sure you know this, but there are gobs and gobs of underwater posters, bulletin boards, etc at the teacher store...I got a lot of my ideas from there and revamped them a little. :)

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I too have a behavior bay
Posted by: FxyWhtCoco

I just put library pockets on posterboard, sea creature stickers on each pocket and then laminated it. I decorated around the chart rather than using different colors of fish for each card.

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Posted by: TeAcHeRinFL


I have a fish behavior management board. Here's a picture of it:

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Here is...
Posted by: SanDiego3rd

a photo of my Reader's Reef. I hung a fishing net on the wall, and sea creatures from the ceiling. Add beach chairs on clearance at Target! The sign says "Get Hooked on a Good Book".

Mamabear, do you have a photo of yours I like your rules.


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3-D palm tree
Posted by: Bahama Mama

I love cardBoard. Its free and sturdy. I used a large box (the kind that furniture comes in) Cut it to the height I wanted. Made several scores on the under side, be careful not to cut all the way through, this allowed me to curve the box to the shape of a trunk. Cover this with crinkled up brown paper. For leaves I cut out large leaves from green butcher paper. Tape or hot glue a wire hanger down the middle then attach this to the trunk by simply punching a whole with the hanger and gluing to secure in place. Bend hanger to shape leaves. Can stand in a pot or be attached to bulletin board. Add coconuts and presto! you have a 3-D palm tree.

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Beach theme
Posted by: Tiffany

I did a beach theme this year. In my reading corner of my classroom, I (slightly) scrunched blue plastic wrap and stuck it to the windows. I put cutouts of fish on the blue windows. I also found palm tree lights and hung them in there (I don't ever think I've plugged them in but the kids got a kick out of them). In the opening to the reading corner I took 2 tiki torches (I took the torch part out) but attached a sign between the 2 posts that read "Readers' Beach" in colorful letters. I draped a colorful string of flowers over the sign. I also put 2 plastic beach loungers in there for the kids to sit on while they read. They are great because they are indestructable and easy to clean.
I had various signs/bulletin boards around the room: Sea of Smiles has pictures of all the kids with the name of each child written below (I teach 1st). In every book, there is a treasure. Surf into First Grade (a welcome b.b. in the beginning of the year had a different colored surfboard for each kid with their name on it.) Whale of a Word Wall. Center tubs read: Hooked on Center 1 (graphic of a fish hook), etc...

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Submarine portholes
Posted by: Lisa Ader

One year I made a big submarine out of gray paper and cut portholes out of the sides of it (ovals that you could look out of like windows) I had the children make ocean scenes on paper and put it behind the portholes. It looked like what you would see if you were looking out the window of a submarine. It was really cool. So maybe you could use the submarine idea and put their names in each porthole as a welcoming display to start the year and then use it to display their ocean art. I also covered their pictures with blue plastic wrap. Maybe Sailing into Mrs. Waters Class, or something like that!

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Boats ..
Posted by: N2Teaching

I'm not for sure if this is what you are looking for, but it may give someone an idea! :) I had an "under the sea" room for the past 3 years. For the past two years, each child had a ship or a boat with their name on it. If a child misbehaved or broke a rule, he or she had to move their boat. Here were the infractions:
One "move" - "Rough Waters" (this was their warning)
Two "moves" - "Stormy Weather" (missed half of break)
Three "moves" - "Shipwrecked" (missed all of break, note sent home)

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Posted by: MTH treasures

We've Done a "Whale of a Job" to Reach Our AR Goals -names of students on whales

"Sea" Who's in ___ Grade (or teacher's name) Class this year - names of students on different sea animals

Diving into ___ Grade - names of students on divers

Look Who I Caught in (for) ____ Grade - names on fish with a net stapled over them or a fisherman with a pole

We're Exploring an Underwater World of Books - display book jackets with divers labeled with students' names surrounding them

Swimming into ______ Grade - cutouts of swimmers labeled with students' names

A coloring book for a very young child (big pictures with few details) is great to use for patterns. Run them off on different colored construction paper, laminate, and print students' names with a wipe-off marker so they can be used year after year. Jan

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Ocean Theme Ideas
Posted by: MissAllyBee

Okay Optional Job Titles for an Underwater Job Board:
Lobster Librarian
Coral Caboose
Catfish Custodian
Crab Computer Tech.
Habitat Horticulturist
Man-o-war materials manager
Turtle teachers assistant
Clown fish caboose
Dolphin Desk Patrol
Coral Custodian
Porpoise Postmaster

On one of your bulletin boards you could have "Lets Dive Into Learning"
Above the reading corner you can have "Fishing For a Good Book"
Outside your room, you can have "Sea Mrs.___s ______ Graders" and post pictures of your kids faces with little ocean animal bodies
On another bulletin board you can have "What a Catch" and display kids good work.
We can buy small blow up fish from the dollar store and hang them with fishing line from your ceiling in groups, so it looks like schools of fish.
You could also put blue plastic wrap over your windows, so your classroom is blue tinted like it's underwater.
You could draw a giant whale and label it "Whale of a Word Wall"

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Posted by: Rach

I put flip flops on my door this year! I'm going to try and attach a picture to show you.

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Posted by: mamabear

I'm making a sign that reads.
Beware: read at your own risk-you may get hooked on books

Also found a cute sign which I'm copying
I made it with a greetings workshop software.
With each phrase = a picture of a sea creature

Rules for Good Listeners
lips closed=fish looking at a fish hook
feet still = octopus
hands quiet= crab with clicking claws
eyes watching = sea horse with glasses
ears listening = snail or shrimp with antenae

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Don't know if you'll be interested but....
Posted by: desire2inspir

Here is one idea I've used before with an ocean/beach theme that you could is more for class motivation and recognition rather than a behavior cueing system but thought I'd kids loved it:)

Treasure Poem:

"X" Marks the Spot

X marks the spot.
Hidden treasures untold.
Rubies? Sapphires?
Maybe even gold?

The ancient map
provides the clues
For good little sailors
If they choose.

I had the poem displayed and we would read it each morning as a reminder about choices. When I caught a student making good choices he or she would get a puzzle part of a map. When they collected all the parts they got to go to the treasure box as a reward.
I've also used it for the entire class on a bulletin board. When the entire class was caught making good choices or showing a specific character trait or received a compliment I would put large parts of a map puzzle on the bulletin board. When the class earned all the parts of the map puzzle we had a class reward usually in the form of a secret treasure like watermelon, popsicles the playground.
I've also used treasure incentive charts with jewel stickers for earning a treasure from the teacher and had many different rewards like free computer time, sit with a buddy, pencil, etc.. in a treasure box for them to select. I wrote the rewards on gold coins which made it a lot of fun.
Anyway don't know that this would be anything you are thinking about but thought I'd share.

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Oceans of Fun In ? Grade!
Posted by: Krissy

Some ideas...

BULLETIN BOARD CAPTION: Set sail for ____ grade! or "The ____ grade tide is coming in!"

READING CORNER: Get a large beach umbrella and prop it up in a bucket of sand. Take die-cut paper shells and write a book on them each time a student reads it or use favorite book titles to decorate the wall. Put down a brown rug and line the wall around it with blue paper, cut with wave-like designs along the top.

STUDENT OF THE WEEK: Call it "Student in the Swim"

JOBS CHART: Put up a blue backgrounda and write the jobs on shells. Give each student a dolphin, whale, or octopus. Simply rotate them each week.

REWARD COUPONS: Call them "Dolphin Dollars"

CLASS REWARD: Put up a large pictue of Shamu. Put a big bucket shape next to it. Call it "Feed the Whale." Each time students earn it, stick a paper fish cut-out on the bucket. When the bucket is full, students have reached their goal!

DECORATIONS: Get small inexpensive beach balls to hang from the ceiling for added fun. Go to the carpet store and ask for a discarded paper roll. They are tall enough to use for a palm tree stalk. Prop in a bucket of sand and add green paper leaves.

BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT: Call it "Catch the Wave of Good Behavior" Use a pocket chart and make 5 small paper waves for each child. Flip to the next wave for a warning, and so on.

Posted by: Lucy

II. Classroom Decor
1. Dress up classroom windows like a ship's portholes.

2. Adopt a sea creature/animal for your class or each class and make a banner or cut-out of the creature/animal to hang outside and/or in your room.

3. Have a "helping hands" octopus showing all the class helpers for the week, i.e. line leader, office messenger, board eraser, etc.

4. Display a "catch of the day" net. Every time a students is recognized for their good behavior for the day, their name goes into the net. Whoever has their name in the net the most times at the end of the month wins a prize or gains a privilege. This concept can also be expanded to include the student who reads the most books dealing with an ocean theme or books in general.

5. Display a compass rose on a wall making sure it is pointing in the correct position.

6. Display a beach scene sometime during the winter months complete with sand, seashells and flora.

For my "Under the Sea" theme we painted the back of our bulletin board with blue paint which I had poured salt into to make our ocean water. Then we added the caption "Under the Sea", and some octopuses, rainbow fish, and seaweed that we had made. I also took a picture of each child wearing goggles, and inserted the pictures into a scuba diver background!

I set up my Book Center with child size lawn chairs and a clamp on umbrella. They loved pretending they were at the beach!! I got the chairs at Wal mart for $4.88 and the umbrella was $5.96. I also got a cheap plastic pool and put books in it.

I got some plastic buckets from the dollar store and put things in them, like: the round container of wet wipes, crayons in the art center, etc...

If you need to hang a curtain anywhere, they are some really cute, fish, ocean shower curtains available at Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

Ocean Theme
Posted by: Miss P.

I actually just found out that our fourth grade hall will be doing on ocean theme for the new school year. Here are some things I have found on the internet and dreamed up:
Ideas for your door-
Glad to "sea" you!
What a great catch! (net with fish and kids names on them)
*Ms. _______ is Fishing for Fabulous _______Graders!
(Drawing of you fishing on a deck with the kids' names on
the fish under water.)
Ideas for your reading Center-
"DIVE" into a Good Book! (Scuba Divers)
Booktime Beach (lawn chairs, umbrella, beachball, beach
towels, etc.)
Oceans of Stories
Other Ideas-
Mermaid head and tail peeking around a small bulletin board.
Use cellophane to create see-through sea creatures to put
on your window for a stainglass effect.
Make a boat bottom and ores out of paper to hang from the
ceiling to look like it is on the water.
Writer's Reef
We're "HOOKED" on learning!
"FIN"tastic Work!
Helping Hands-Octopus with helping jobs on legs.
Card and Party factory carries inflatable sea creatures you can hang from the ceiling! They are way too cute. I think you can get the same ones from Oriental Trading Co.

Hope this helps--I know...Long winded!! :)

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Ocean Theme
Posted by: Rebecca

I did an ocean theme a few years ago. Here are some things I did.

I put up a sign at the entrance of my classroom that said __my last name__'s REEF
I made a bulletin board by putting up waves fabric on the lower half of board and light blue for sky on the top half. I put up blue tulle (the fabric wedding rice bags are made from--scalloped it across the board like waves where the sky and wave fabric met). Then I cut out a boat pattern and stapled to top half (above water) with a fishing rod coming out of the boat and the hook going to the lower part of the board. Then I put up fish cut-outs with each child's name. The title was "Welcome to ____'s Reef! It's Oceans Of Fun!"

My homeworkopoly board had a captain's wheel and banner that said, "Don't Get Shipwrecked! Do Your Homework". The playing pieces were sea creatures cut-outs.

My computer center said, "Internet Island" and small captions...."get caught up in the net" with fish cutouts on the wall and a net draped over them and "surf the net" with a surfer picture.

My map was used to track our class pet's(beanie baby) adventures across the US. He was a crab. It said, "Crawl Across America With Mr. Crabs"

Our schedule was "The Tide Of Times"

I do a helper a week. This person is responsible for lining us up, turning off lights, handing out supplies, etc. I have a flip chart system with their name--use sea creature cutouts.

"Behavior Beach" was our behavior board.

I'll try to think back on what else I had. I might even have some pics to email you if I can find them. They may be on my school computer and I am out for the summer. If I locate them, I'll post back to see if you are interested.

tropical theme
Posted by: melanie

You could put up a hammock and allow the student of the week to use it during certain times of the day. The reading hut would probably still work, even with older kids. You could add those bamboo beach mats and put up a sign that says "Relax with a good book!" Make a palm tree out of a durable cardboard roll (check fabric stores for empty rolls)Add some burlap fabric to give it that peeling bark look. Make the palm leaves out of green poster paper. Hot glue some floral wire on the back so that you can bend the leaves in the direction you want. Paint a couple styrofoam balls green and wire them on as coconuts. Your classroom money (if you use that kind of incentive) could be called "Banana Bread" lol!

Think Tank Bulletin Board
Posted by: Michelle

I had an interactive bulletin board this year called "The Think Tank". It was a bulletin board made to look like a fish tank, huge fish in the middle, blue background, sea border. Every Monday I would put a different problem on the board. Example: word problem for math, editing a sentence for writing, social studies question, draw the 3 kinds of levers for science...etc. They wrote their answer down, put it in a tray and took a little fish, put their name on it and stapled it on the bulletin board. At the end of the week I corrected them all. Those who got the problem right, their fish got put into a real fish bowl. I drew a name out and that person got to go to the candy jar. The kids loved it and it allowed me to put up bonus questions across the curriculum for them to do in their spare time! This year it's going to be a cage with an ape in it. The kids will put their names on a banana instead and I will draw them out like I did last year.