Lesson 5: Waves and Currents

Activities

Activity 1: Waves and Energy

Materials: Oceans for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave, drinking straw, large rectangular, glass baking dish, scissors, tap water, unsharpened pencil, watch or timer*
Water waves are not moving toward the shore but are actually moving up and down. Do the "Bobber" activity on pages 83-84 of Oceans for Every Kid. On page 84, the book explains that while wave energy is moving forward and backward, water and the bobber (straw) move in an up and down motion.
Your child will conduct the activity described on pages 83-84 of Oceans for Every Kid. Assist him as needed.

Activity 2: Tsunami in Thailand

Underwater volcanoes and earthquakes form tsunamis. Research the incredible tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004. Online you can find pictures of how the tsunami damaged the geography of the land and how the communities were affected. Many volunteers across the world gave time and money to help the victims of the tsunami. Complete the page, "Tsunami in Thailand."
Help your student locate information about the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Oceans for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave
Read pages 65-70, including "Let's Think it Through" and "Exercises" in Oceans for Every Kid.
Questions
  1. Look up "ocean current" in the glossary of the book. What is the difference between a current and a wave?
    A wave is energy that moves through water, and a current is the continuous movement of ocean water. Waves move water up and down and currents move water and objects across the ocean.
  2. What causes surface currents in the ocean?
    Wind.
  3. What is the difference between a cold current and a warm current?
    Warm water currents move away from the equator. Cold water currents move toward the equator.

Activity 3: Map of Currents

Materials: Oceans for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave, colored pencils or markers
Label the oceans on the "Map of Ocean Currents" page. Sketch the currents as shown on page 70 of the book. Make the currents in the Northern Hemisphere a different color from the Southern Hemisphere currents.
On this page your child will sketch the directions of the currents found in the oceans. You can check his labeling using the diagrams on pp. 15 and 70 of Oceans for Every Kid. Your child should have also answered the question found on the sheet: What is the difference between the currents in the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere? (In the Northern Hemisphere, currents tend to move clockwise, while in the Southern Hemisphere they tend to move counter-clockwise.)