Ocean Boxes (dioramas) for Apologia Zoology 2 Swimming Creatures

For science this year we will be studying Swimming Creatures using Apologia’s Zoology 2 text.  One project the kids and I are excited about is making ocean boxes, a.k.a. dioramas.  We made some simple ones four years ago, but this year they will be a bit more elaborate.

For each chapter they will make another animal that they studied.  I’ve been saving diaper boxes, so that each child will have their own.  Below is the plan, including the supplies.  I’m keeping all the supplies in a specified box to help this project go more smoothly.  I found most everything at the dollar store and Wal-Mart (and the blue contact paper at a thrift shop).  I’m going to order the Model Magic (75 1-ounce packages) at a great price from Discount School Supply, which will allow each child to use one packet per animal, if they choose!

Assorted Colors Crayola Model Magic Classpack

Join us throughout this year as I share how we made each animal and post pictures of our creations.  (You may want to follow I Choose Joy! through Facebook, Twitter, email, RSS, and or Pinterest.  See sidebar for links.  I also have a special Swimming Creatures Pinterest board.)

Supplies needed:

Scissors, white glue, glue gun, Model Magic, blue contact paper, rocks, colored felt, pompon balls, small clear applesauce containers, egg carton, construction paper, foam sheets, thread, glitter glue, seashells, sand dollars, googly eyes, small feathers, small styrofoam balls, toothpicks, yarn, small balloons, pipe cleaners, straws, paper bags, and a sponge.

Lesson 1:  Cover and line the box with blue contact paper.

Lesson 2:  Whale

Lesson 3:  Seal, walrus, or manatee (sitting in a rock)

Lesson 4:  Sea turtle (egg carton, foam sheets, googly eyes); sea snake (pipe cleaner)

Lesson 5:  Plesiasaur

Lesson 6:  Fish (felt cut-outs decorated with glitter glue, hung with thread)

Lesson 7:  Shark, ray, or lamprey

Lesson 8: Crab (half a styrofoam ball with pipe cleaners and googly eyes)

Lesson 9:  Shell animal like hermit crab, oyster, or snail (use real shell and add the animal with Model Magic)

Lesson 10:  Squid or octopus (brown paper bag)

Lesson 11:  Sea Urchin (styrofoam ball with toothpicks), Sea star (Model Magic), feather star (feathers)

Lesson 12:  Jellyfish (small applesauce container with yarn), man o war (small balloon), anemone (Model Magic with pipe cleaners and paper clownfish

Lesson 13:  Sponge (piece of a sponge), marine tubeworms (straws and feathers)

Arts & Crafts on Any Budget!

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  1. It’ll be so much fun to see your kids final projects. I love how you have been busy gathering supplies now, instead of waiting until the last minute!


  1. […] Introduction to Swimming Creatures/ Ideas for each ocean box lesson, including supplies […]

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