Water is a very common substance on earth. It covers nearly three fourths of the earth’s surface. The oceans of the world are really one large body of water in which the continents stand as islands. This large body of water is subdivided into the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian, the Arctic, and the Southern Oceans.
Man has always been intrigued by the oceans. Myths, fears, and superstitions of sea monsters, and “gods” who ruled the waters conspired to keep man a prisoner of land. During the time of the wooden sea vessels, supposed sea serpents, in the form of snakes and of phenomenal proportions were credited with the destruction and disappearance of numerous vessels. Still today, the reputed Loch Ness monster, reputedly living in a lake, continues to mystify and intrigue the curiosity seeker. Scientific evidence has been unable to substantiate the theories of sea monsters and most reports of sitings have been proven to be grossly exaggerated descriptions of sea creatures and even floating masses of sea weeds.
The purpose of this curriculum unit is to introduce the child of kindergarten age to the fascinating world of the water. It is to provide the child with the basic information which will enable and encourage further study of this wonderful world. Through hands on activities, the child will learn about the physical world which exists under water and will be introduced to some of the inhabitants of that world. The oceans of the world will be understood as a necessary element for the existence of all life forms and will also be studied as source of continual recreation and pleasure. It is the recreational aspect, which makes it necessary for the young child to be introduced to some of the basic rules of water safety, which all, both young and old, should know and employ. As the children learn the importance of the ocean and its influence on everyday life, it will be a catalyst to the introduction of the social aspects of the school curriculum, that of individual responsibility for the welfare of the oceans and also the vital and basic skill of sharing. This includes not only sharing the responsibility of insuring a healthy oceanic environment but also the responsibility to share this concern for each other and all living things.