Tide Pool Ecology



General Description
Over three miles of beachfront borders the western edge of Crystal Cove State Park.  On certain areas of the beach where the ocean meets the rocky shore you can find an amazing ecosystem full of life.  This ecosystem is called the intertidal zone, or tide pools.  At low tide this world is exposed for visitors to see.

The tide pool unit of study provides three, one hour, in-class lessons to familiarize your students with key concepts concerning tide pools.  The fourth lesson is a live, interactive videoconference with Park Interpreters at the ocean's edge.  The Interpreter will talk directly to your students about the constant struggle that plants and animals in the tide pool face every day.

Click HERE to schedule this program

Academic Content Standards Subject Area: Science-Biology and Ecology

Grade Level: 4th and 5th (adaptable for other grades)

Primary Common Core State Standards:
4th Grade: RI.4.4, RI.4.5, RI.4.7, RI.4.9, W.4.2, W.4.6, W.4.7
5th Grade: RI.5.4, RI.5.5, RI.5.7, RI.5.9, W.5.2, W.5.6, W.5.7

Primary Next Generation Science Standards
4th Grade: LS1-1, LS1-2, ETS1-2
5th Grade: LS1-1, LS2-1, ESS3-1, ETS1-2

Time Required:
3 50 minute, in-class lessons
1 one hour videoconference lesson from Crystal Cove State Park
Options for extension activities are included

Through classroom lessons and participating in the videoconference, students will be able to:

  • Explain what a tide pool is and the biotic and abiotic components that make up a tide pool.
  • Chart and classify invertebrates found in a tide pool using research and observation techniques.
  • Discuss the adaptations of tide pool animals and the relationships between organism living in the tide pools.
  • Collaborate in research-based inquiry leading to culminating artifact showing understanding of multiple concepts in a variety of presentation formats.

    Academic Contributor
    Barbara Barnes, Principal, San Onofre Elementary School, San Clemente
    Kalina Coco Noelle, Common Core Technology Project Facilitator, CCSS Fellow, Los Angeles