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Every week we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. How we treat the Earth affects the oceans. Part of Heifer International's mission is to improve the environment, which helps end hunger and poverty through increased resources. On June 8, celebrate World Oceans Day and discover how you can protect the wealth our oceans provide.

Greenpeace divers at a marine reserve near the Philippines. Photo credit: flickr.com Greenpeace USAGreenpeace divers at a marine reserve near the Philippines. Photo credit: flickr.com Greenpeace USA

The sea acts as a life support system for Earth. It covers 72 percent of the planet and supplies half its oxygen. Marine reserves protect sea life, create jobs through tourism and help stabilize the fishing industry. Sadly, less than two percent of our oceans are protected this way, according to Enric Sala, a marine ecologist for National Geographic.

Help kids learn about ocean conservation with this fun fishing activity:

What You Need:

  • Large Cardboard Box
  • Construction Paper
  • 1-3 fishing poles
  • Fishing line
  • Clothespins
  • Random trash, like plastic bottles or a flip-flop
  • Candy or other small reward
  • Ocean Pollution and Marine Animal Facts (Find all kinds of facts on this website)
  • An adult volunteer

Follow These Steps:

  1. Unfold the large cardboard box and using the construction paper, decorate it like the beach or bottom of the ocean.
  2. Use fishing line to attach clothespins to the fishing poles as hooks.
  3. Cut out marine animals using the construction paper and write fun questions and/or riddles about the sea life on the cut-outs.
  4. Collect a small amount of random trash like plastic bottles, a flip-flop or baby diaper. Write ocean pollution facts on the trash.
  5. Place a volunteer behind the cardboard box with the sea life cut-outs and random trash.
  6. Divide the children up into teams.
  7. Have each team member take turns "going fishing" over the top of the box. The volunteer will attach either a sea life cut-out or piece of trash to the clothes pin, then gently pull on the line to let the child know they have caught something.
  8. If the child catches a sea life cut-out, they can enlist the help of their teammates to answer the question or solve the riddle. Award points for correct answers.
  9. If the child catches trash, they read the pollution fact on the item and do not receive points.
  10. At the end of the game, tally points and award a prize like candy to the winning team.
  11. Don't forget to recycle the random trash you collected!

[embed]http://youtu.be/uAQQAcbtl5w[embed]

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