Homeschool theme study: Oceans

Homeschool theme study: Oceans

In our How to do a theme study and cover the 8 KLAs article we explained how to generally cover the 8 KLAs in any themed or unit study. This article is specific and shows how it can be done while studying Oceans as an example.

The subtopics are not exhaustive and you will probably think of others. You certainly don’t have to cover the topic to this extent. Pick and choose topics to fit in with your children’s needs, the time you want to allocate and your homeschool regime.

Once you’ve decided on some topics, go to the library and borrow as many books on oceans as you can. Actually, you might want to use the books you find to determine the topics.

For detailed information on the 8 Key Learning Areas, visit the Australian Curriculum website.

Oceans theme study


Collate a list of vocabulary words.

Classic literature: The Coral Island (Science: sea and island life); The Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe; Moby Dick for older children.

Biogrpahy: The Kon-Tiki Expedition (Science, Technology, Social Studies); Carry on Mr Bowditch (Science: navigation, ships; Maths)

Some books on oceans I found at my local library.

Humanities and social sciences

Geography – identify major oceans and seas; geographical features of the ocean floor; other geographical features, eg islands, reefs, abyssal basins and plains, etc; mapping

Pollution – care of oceans and impacts of our living choices on the ocean and its living organisms and ourselves.

Industry – food and products sourced from the ocean

History – navigation, exploration, ships (Phoenicians, Vikings); lighthouses

Excursion: visit a maritime museum


Biology: sea creatures and plants; life cycles; seashore life; threatened species; birds and land dwellers dependent on the sea

Oceanography: waves, tides and currents; chemistry of ocean water and sand

Earth science: weather, winds, tsunamis, etc

Excursion: aquarium; rock pool tour; Great Barrier Reef, etc.


The Arts

Art appreciation: Choose seascapes for picture study I found some inspiration here.

Media: See a play or watch a movie of Moby Dick, Robinson Crusoe or similar.

Art and craft: Shell art; paint ocean scenes; sand sculptures

Music: St Brendan’s Fair Isle – listen, recite or learn to play it.

Listen to whale or dolphin music.

Health and Physical Education

PE: Learn a water sport; how to scuba dive or go snorkelling.

Fishing – learn what bates are best for what species; where different species are to be found; tides; identify edible species; (Science). Legal lengths and how to measure (Maths); Licence requirements (Social Studies). Equipment and technique (Technology).

Health: Study sea sickness and what causes scurvy (relate to history).


Continue on with Singapore maths or your regular maths program, or try these ideas:

Measure the distances and volumes of all the oceans.


Use some of the words in the vocabulary list you made for English and translate some of them into the language you are learning.

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