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How To Engage Kids to Learn with An Online Sharks Course

online sharks course

Most children (and adults!) are naturally fascinated by sharks, either through sheer awe and wonder or by misguided fear. So, it’s no surprise that sharks can be an extremely useful tool to hook in kid’s interest and engage them to learn a whole range of curriculum topics, without them even realising!

Ocean Life Education has developed a range of free online shark themed educational resources and an online shark course to provide kids, schools and teachers with engaging ways to learn about sharks.

Why Are Kids Fascinated by Sharks?

shark anatomy and adaptation

shark anatomy – amazing sharks online course

Unfortunately, kid’s interest in sharks is often fuelled by exaggerated media stories and scary films, but it’s sharks’ appearance, immense power and ability to hunt that really grab their attention.

Incredibly, sharks have been around for at least 450 million years (since before the dinosaurs). A major reason why sharks have outlasted so many other animals, and a key reason why we are so fascinated by sharks, is their incredible anatomy, which is adapted to hunt and to survive.

 

 

Teaching Kids About Sharks Helps Protect Sharks and The Ocean

sharks & natural selection

sharks & natural selection

As APEX predators, sharks sit at the top of the food chain and help control the numbers of animals below them in the food web, thus maintaining the balance of life in their marine habitat. By controlling populations of large and mid-sized predators, sharks allow smaller fish to thrive, ensuring healthy ecosystems with a diverse range of species and competitors. Take sharks out of the food chain and the whole structure could collapse.

As we depend on healthy oceans for around 70% of the air that we breath, as well as for a host of other things such as food to eat, it is in our interest to minimise human impact and protect animals that protect our ocean.

 

Curriculum Learning with Shark Facts

Through the fascinating topic of sharks, kids can learn a host of primary curriculum themes such as adaptation, habitats, human impact, food webs, natural selection and classification. Studying the curriculum, while being thoroughly engrossed in the subject matter, makes the process of learning all the more enjoyable and inspiring.

Learning Enrichment and Sharks

Often children who need extra support within learning enrichment respond really well to curriculum-based learning which is based around their own topic of interest. That’s where teaching ‘Sharks’ can be a really useful tool to stimulate interest and hook children in.

 

Sharks Course for Kids & Shark Resources for Schools & Teachers

 

Ocean Life Education has created a host of engaging free shark resources and activities: videos, sharks fact sheets & infographics, shark worksheets, shark activities, shark quizzes and an online shark course for kids (and adults!), with the aim of promoting understanding of sharks. All can be used as engaging resources for schools and teachers, as well as fun activities for kids.

Online Sharks Course for Kids

Amazing Sharks Certificate

Amazing Sharks Certificate

Become a certified Shark Legend with Ocean Life Education’s Amazing Sharks online course – learn the facts, bust the myths and help protect these totally awesome creatures through a fun and interactive online shark course. Personalised shark legend certificate awarded on completion. Suits Age 7+.

We hope you enjoy our resources and course and are inspired to want to protect amazing sharks too.

Link – ONLINE SHARKS COURSE

Link – SHARK RESOURCES

 

5 Awesome Shark Facts

  • Sharks have been around since before the dinosaurs.
  • Sharks are literally built to hunt.
  • Sharks can produce 30,000 teeth in a lifetime.
  • Humans depend on sharks.
  • You have more chance of being killed by a cow than a shark!

5 Easy Ways to Help Protect Sharks

  • Educate yourself and your friends about the importance of sharks
  • Share your love of sharks on social media
  • Buy only sustainable fish and seafood – check labels thoroughly!
  • Don’t buy fish marked ‘flake’ – it’s shark
  • Join a volunteer shark conservation organisation like Sea Shepherd or Sharks & Rays of Australia & Shark Conservation Australia.

Sharks Down Under – Amazing Australian Shark Facts

Hammerhead

Contrary to popular belief, mainly brought about by scary shark movies, you have more chance of being killed by a coconut than a shark! Over-fishing and unsustainable practices are causing shark populations to decline worldwide. Amazing sharks play an important role in our oceans and on our majestic reefs and we should all be concerned about their numbers declining. We believe that the big danger is not sharks; the big danger is shark extinction.

Here in Australia, we are luck to have bountiful species of shark living off our coastline. Read on to discover some interesting facts about sharks of Australia, why we need sharks in Australia and why we need to protect sharks living off the coast of Australia.

 

Sharks in Australian Waters

Shark resources

There are considered to be around 180 species of sharks in Australian waters and 400 species worldwide. In fact, around 50 species of shark live right here, off the Eastern Coast of Queensland. Eastern Australia’s grey nurse sharks are considered critically endangered and school sharks (sometimes known as flake in fish and chip shops) and scalloped hammerheads are on the endangered shark list too.

 

Sharks Commonly Found off Australia

The following sharks are commonly found off Australia’s coast: Great White, Port Jackson, Thresher, Zebra Shark, Tiger Shark, Tasselled Wobbegong, Whale Shark, Oceanic Whitetip, Blacktip Reef, Grey Nurse, Bull Shark, Bronze Whaler, Great Hammerhead, Blind Shark, Pygmy Shark

 

Why Do We Need Sharks?

 There is no doubt that we need sharks. As apex predators, sharks help maintain the balance of life in the sea. Sharks are a vital part of the food chain, controlling mid-sized predators and allowing small reef fish to thrive. Small reef fish take care of our amazing coral reef, therefore sharks help keep coral reef healthy. Without sharks, we would be denied the pleasure of exploring amazing underwater habitats such as the world’s largest natural wonder, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. The global economic impact on tourism and of declining fish stocks would be huge. So, have no doubt, we need sharks!

 

Why Are Shark Populations in Decline?

Shark populations are in decline globally and in Australian waters. 100 million sharks are killed in worldwide fisheries each year and habitat degradation, pollution and climate change are also impacting international shark populations. Controversial shark nets and drum lines (designed to protect human populations) add further to the decline.

Sharks live a long time (20-30 years), grow slowly and take a long time to mature and reach reproductive age. This means that even if we slow the decline in shark populations now, populations will take a long time to recover.

 

Sharks Facts QuizShould I Be Scared of Sharks in Australia?

No! We don’t think you should be scared of sharks. The ocean is their home and when we visit their home we need to be very aware and respectful of them.

  • On average, one person a year is killed in a shark attack in Australia.

To put things in perspective…

  • 5 people die from falling out of bed
  • 10 people are struck down by lightning
  • 1,100 are killed on our roads

 

Ultimate Shark Facts 

Check out our ultimate shark facts and discover how much you really know about sharks.

  • The largest species of shark is the whale shark
  • Baby sharks are called pups
  • Shark bones are made of cartilage
  • Many sharks have multiple rows of sharp teeth – they can grow 35, 000 in a lifetime
  • Shark skin feels like sandpaper
  • The collective noun for a shark is a Shiver (or School, Shoal)
  • The fastest shark in the ocean is the Shortfin Mako Shark (up to 74k an hour)
  • The smallest species of shark is the Dwarf Lantern Shark (smaller than a human hand)
  • Sharks have eyelids but they do not blink
  • Sharks do not see in colour
  • 10% of shark species are bioluminescent – they light up in the dark
  • 180 species of shark live off the coast of Australia – 400 species worldwide
  • Bull sharks can live in fresh and salt water
  • Some sharks lay eggs (oviparous) others give birth to live young (viviparous), and some are a combination of these two, they start life inside their mother as an egg, hatch inside her and then are born live (ovoviviparous)
  • Egg laying sharks lay egg cases known as mermaid’s purses
  • Unlike humans, sharks breathe through gills, so their nostrils are purely dedicated to smelling
  • Sharks are able to detect blood from 5 km
  • Sharks can identify which of their two nostrils have picked up a scent – enabling them to determine the direction to swim to find food
  • Some species of shark can survive for up to 3 months between meals
  • Sharks can sense vibrations from 3 kilometres away

 

What Can I Do to Help Protect Sharks?

  • Educate yourself and your friends
  • Share your love of sharks on your social media channels
  • Join a volunteer shark conservation organisation like sharkconservationorg.au, marineconservation.org.au, seashepherd.com.au (make a donation if you can)
  • Join a beach clean or just clean as you go!
  • Buy sustainable seafood and check restaurants have done so. Avoid flake at the Fish & Chip shop as it may be endangered shark
  • Ask politicians to support ocean acidification research

Ocean Life Education is passionate about protecting all marine animals and focusing on the important role sharks play in our oceans.  We aim to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the most feared fish in the sea.

Check out our Shark Discovery Program for more information on how to inspire kids to love and respect sharks: www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/holiday-program/ 

Want to know more about sharks?

online shark course

Check out our Amazing Sharks Online Course