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Marine Zoology: Invertebrates Session 2

Marine Zoology – Invertebrates 2
This is Part 3 of a 4 part marine zoology series. To take this course, you must successfully complete Marine Biology 101.
Other classes in the series include:
Marine Biology 101
Marine Zoology: Invertebrates Session 1
Marine Zoology: Vertebrates

If you have a student aged 10-17 that has an interest in marine biology, this is the class you want! 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! This will not be a “fluff” class, or an “overview”—it is an intensive, science heavy class where students will learn marine biology from many different aspects—taxonomy, evolutionary relationships, anatomy, function, habitat, etc.

There will be dissections in this course. Students can watch me do the dissection online, and I will even give you instructions for obtaining specimens so they can follow along with their own dissection if they’d like! Students who don’t wish to participate in viewing the dissections may opt out.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

In this session, students will be focusing on 3 major groups of marine invertebrates:

1. Mollusks:
Gastropods (snails and nudibranchs), Bivalves (oysters and clams), and everyone’s favorite…Cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish)!! This group of marine invertebrates is as varied as it is fascinating. Did you know that there are snails that shoot spears full of venom into their prey? Or that octopus are the most intelligent invertebrates on earth—even smarter than many vertebrate animals? We’ll learn how to easily tell exactly what group of animals that shell you find on the beach belongs to! And there will be several labs, including dissections, to explore this amazing phylum!

2. Crustaceans:
You say crustacean, I say DINNER! Crustaceans include lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. Not only are they tasty, but they are super cool! Mantis shrimp have a punch so fast that they BOIL the water around them! Plus, we’ll learn how to tell the sex of crabs, look at the similarities and differences in the anatomy of these closely related critters, and more! Lots of labs and dissections.

3. Echinoderms:
Seastars, urchins, and sea cucumbers. These guys are our closest living invertebrate relatives. And they are fascinating! Just their varied forms of defense mechanisms could create an entire class! Did you know that sea cucumbers spit out their sticky guts so prey get entangled in them, while the cucumber makes its very slow getaway- only to grow new guts?! Told you they’re fascinating!

I will be creating educational videos to accompany the course- many of these will be on site at various areas around southern California, both at the ocean and in some of our local aquariums. I’ll also be conducting virtual labs for the students, including dissections. Each week, there will be a choice of hands on projects for students to complete to reinforce their knowledge of the material.

We do dissections throughout this class.
If you would like to order your own specimen to follow along with me in the dissection video, there is a list of sources below. If you live outside of the United States, you need to call and see if they will ship to you. If not, you may be able to find a biological supply company in your area.
You need to order your specimens as soon as you enroll to insure they are here before class starts. When your animals arrive, store them in a dark, cool place. Do NOT freeze or refrigerate preserved specimens. You can order a dissection kit if you want, but really all you need is a pair of googles, gloves, sharp scissors (easier to use than a scalpel), and some kind of a probe (toothpicks work well for this).
Note: If you also plan on taking Marine Zoology: Invertebrates Part 2 and Marine Zoology: Vertebrates, also check the material lists for those classes. You can order everything together and save on shipping. 

If a link is provided, it is to show you the type of animal you need to order. Below is a list of sources where you can purchase specimens:

Clam (or you can buy one from your local seafood market)
Squid (or you can buy one from your local seafood market)
Horseshoe Crab
Crab (buy one from your local seafood market)
Shrimp (buy one from your local seafood market)
Crawfish (or you can buy one from your local seafood market)
Starfish– The listed one is 2-3″. If you can find the 5″-6″ size, that is easier to work with.

I do not personally endorse any of these companies, nor do I receive any kind of compensation for listing them. I suggest you research the individual companies before purchasing. There are also other companies that sell preserved specimens. When given a choice of types, choose plain preserved (you don’t need injected ones).






Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule Dec 5 - Feb 13
  • Activities Science
  • Lessons 8
  • Suggested Ages 10-17 Two Levels
  • Time Time: This class is currently closed for enrollments. Please join our mailing list to find out when it is open again.