Elementary Programs Chapters

By Bonnie Langan and Anne Neidinger

Deep in Water

Books to Share

Across the Big Blue Sea by Jakki Wood.

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae.

Fish Sleep But Don’t Shut Their Eyes - And Other Amazing Facts About Ocean Creatures by Melvin Berger.

Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan.

Let’s Go Fishing in the Ocean by George Travis.

Things That Swim in Texas Waters by Glenna Grimmer.


A Sailor Went to Sea

Children choose partners and sit facing each other as they sing this traditional song and perform the clapping actions listed below. Let them repeat the song as many times as they like.

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,

To see what he could see, see, see,

But all that he could see, see, see,

Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.

Children perform these clapping actions, repeating with each of the four lines.

A - clap own hands

Sai - clap right hand with partner

Lor- clap own hands

Went - clap left hand with partner

To - clap own hands

Sea, sea, sea - clap partner’s hands three times

Down by the Bay

Sing “Down by the Bay.” Lyrics and a MIDI file are available on the Kididdles web site at http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/d007.html.

My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

Sing “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” Lyrics and a MIDI file are available on the Kididdles web site at http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/m033.html.

Riddles and Jokes

Select some riddles from Funny Riddles by Jacqueline Horsfall. Have the children make up questions and answers that begin with, “How many fish does it take to _________?”

Reader’s Theater

The Pirate’s Code

Let the children read “The Pirate’s Code” by Barrie Teague Alguire, in Sail Away with Books, the 2007 Texas Reading Club manual, at http://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/projects/trc/2007/manual/piratecode.html.


“123 Goldfish” by Linda Befeld from Sail Away with Books, the 2007 Texas Reading Club manual, at http://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/projects/trc/2007/manual/goldfish.html.

“The Sea King’s Daughter, A Russian Legend” on Aaron Shepard’s Storytelling Page, at http://www.aaronshep.com/storytelling/GOS12.html.


Choose any of the following crafts.

“Paper Plate Starfish Craft” from Danielle’s Place at www.daniellesplace.comHTML/paperplate.html.

“Paper Water Balloons” from Instructibles at www.instructables.comid/How-to-make-paper-water-balloons/.

“Seashore Collage” from First School at http://www.first-school.ws/activities/artapp/collage.htm.

Games and Activities

Beach Party

Host a beach party or campout. Serve lemonade with umbrellas and finger foods snacks. Play beach music and invite a dance teacher to show the children some fun dances. Play limbo, volley ball, and other beach party games.

Water Relay

For this game, you will need two 12 ounce plastic cups per child, two large buckets per team, and water. In advance, punch two or three medium-sized holes in the bottom of each plastic cup. Find a safe, non-slippery area outside the library to set up a relay course, and establish start and finish lines with chalk or tape. Set a bucket of water at the starting line for each team and an empty bucket for each team at the finish line. Divide the kids into teams of six or eight members. The first team member takes the cup, scoops water out of the bucket, races down to the other end, empties the cup into the empty bucket, and runs back to the start line, and hands the cup to the next team member. The process is repeated until all team members have raced. The team with the most water in the second bucket wins a prize. Depending upon the surface used, watch and make sure it does not become slippery during the activity.

Guest Speakers

Invite a representative from a local pet store or zoo, or a Texas Park Ranger, to talk about the species found in Texas waters.

Books to Display or Booktalk

Awesome Ocean Science! by Cindy Littlefield.

Cabin 102 by Sherry Garland.

Exploring an Ocean Tide Pool by Jeanne Bendick.

Flush by Carl Hiaasen.

Ocean Tide Pool by Arthur John L’Hommedieu.

Texas by Kathy Pelta.

Bulletin Boards

Feature creatures from the Texas Gulf on your bulletin board, using die cuts shapes, or patterns from other sources. Let the children draw their favorite sea creature, or use coloring pages. The DLTK’s Crafts for Kids web site at http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/moceanposter.html has ocean coloring pages which can be made into posters.


Display an aquarium with puppets and photos of various types of ocean life.


Bill Nye the Science Guy: Ocean Life. (26 minutes)

Rainbow Fish Fun and Games. (45 minutes)

Web Sites

Fish Olympics


This site includes four fish games that teach children about fish as they play.

Shark School


This web site includes an FAQ about sharks, a glossary, information about shark anatomy, and games.

Professional Resources

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Oceans by Kathy Ross.

Funny Riddles by Jacqueline Horsfall.

Region 2 US Fish and Wildlife Service


Search this web site for information on many Texas attractions children will enjoy visiting or learning about.

Texas Parks and Wildlife


Texas Parks and Wildlife will allow you to find information about state parks, fishing, hunting, and Texas land and water.

Tour Texas


The Tour Texas web site will display lists of Texas attractions for children to visit in or near large and small cities throughout the State. It is by city and by region.

Texas Reading Club 2009 Programming Manual / Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011