Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Beach Exploration

Many students love to check out cool objects when they’re on a beach! That’s what students get an opportunity to do in Beach Exploration. This routine also gives students time for unstructured play—an important part of visits to the beach with youth!

In Beach Exploration, students think about the unique aspects of a beach environment, and the instructor offers thinking tools, perspectives, and ideas to support students in observing, asking questions about, and making explanations about the cool objects and “nature mysteries” they’ll find at the beach. At the beach, students get an opportunity to move around and check out objects they find interesting—seaweed, shells, crab exoskeletons, leaves, driftwood, seeds, bones—and then choose one to study in depth. Students record their observations and ideas in a journal entry and make explanations about unique features of the object or where their object may have come from. An optional discussion focusing on one or two especially interesting mystery objects engages students in thinking about ocean literacy more deeply as a group. The process of studying found objects on the beach supports students’ understandings of beach and marine environments and offers students a mindset they can use anytime in the future to explore and learn at the beach or any other place.

Students will:
  • Play and explore on a beach.
  • Observe and explore beach artifacts that are interesting to them.
  • Practice making explanations based on evidence.
  • Accurately record observations and explanations through drawing and writing in their journals.
  • Build visual literacy and communication skills.


Special Acknowledgements
We want to acknowledge Justice Outside for reviewing this session and supporting us to develop more equitable, inclusive, and culturally relevant instructional materials. Read more about our collaboration with Justice Outside.

Download Full Instructor Guide:
Beach Exploration PDF