Because sharks deserve more than a week!

Recommended Ages: 7-11
Start Date: February 6. Class runs for 4 weeks. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. No live classes- do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.
Instructor: Mary Middlebrook
SPACE AVAILABLE: Class is over 10% full.
Our classes always fill. Don’t miss out- enroll now!

My degree is in Marine Biology (from Texas A&M University at Galveston), and marine biology was the very first homeschool class I ever taught. I have since branched out into many other sciences, but always love it when I can teach my passion- ocean life! When I offered Marine Biology last semester, so many people wanted a class for the younger kids. Well, here it is! This 4 week “Shark Month” workshop will still have TONS of science, but will be written for younger students. My recommended age group is 7-11. This class is really not a good fit for current Marine Zoology students or those who plan on taking the Marine Zoology: Vertebrates course in the fall, as all of the information in this class will be covered in the fall, but in more detail.
This is meant to be a fun, no pressure class! But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to learn! Some of the things we’ll be covering will include:
1. Evolution and taxonomy: Where do sharks fit into the grand scheme of life on earth? When did they evolve? What were some of the first forms of sharks (Megalodon!!)?
2. Anatomy: What are the different parts of a shark? What evolutionary adaptations have led to sharks being the ocean’s apex (top) predator?
3. Reproduction: How do sharks reproduce? Why did they evolve these reproductive strategies?
4. Species: We’ll discuss many species you are familiar with, and some you’ve never even heard of! Each has its own unique and fascinating adaptations! Students will learn how to use a dichotomous key to identify species.
5. The Fear Factor: Should we be afraid of sharks? What are the statistics on shark attacks? What are the most common reasons why sharks attack? What can be done to prevent an attack?
6. Conservation: Why are the world’s shark populations in decline? What would happen to the ocean ecosystem if its apex predator disappeared? Why is it important to save sharks? What can we do to help save sharks?
Lesson plans are a combination of power points, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course. In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what project your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). I will be creating educational videos to accompany the course. I’ll also be conducting virtual labs for the students, including a shark dissection that they have the opportunity to follow along with at home! (This is optional- information about how to obtain a specimen will be given to you upon enrollment). Each week, there will be a choice of hands on projects for students to complete to reinforce their knowledge of the material.

This is a 4 week class that begins on February 6 and ends on February 27. Students have 2 weeks after that date to complete all work.
I will post all lesson plans and homework assignments on Tuesdays before 5pm PST. Discussion occurs throughout the week, as students interact with me and other students via our online message board. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy schedules, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.
Space is limited!

No formal grades will be given for this class. There is a quiz at the end of each lesson that will give your child a “grade”, but it is not recorded. ALL students will receive feedback on the work they submit.


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