Science: Seashells – Collecting, Learning about, and Having Fun!

18 Aug

Shells, Shells, Shells!


We live about 5 minutes away from the beach in our new home!

So, in our first few trips to the beach, we’ve already been beachcombing and have collected DOZENS of shells.

So being a homeschooler, in comes a unit on SHELLS!

Here are some resources that I found while “combing” the net. They range in age from preschool – high school.

Even if you don’t live near the beach, you can still have fun with a seashell unit. There’s loads of activities on the internet and seashells can be bought at dollar stores, etc. for hands on activities.

Across the Curriculum

Science: What is a shell?/About Shells

What is a shell?

Molluscs of the sea, traditional “sea shells”

Types of Mollusks

Making a Shell – how seashells are made (older students)

Mollusks – 3 page resource, kind of like a picture dictionary for mollusks.

Amazing Mollusk Facts/Trivia

Seashells of Eastern Arabia

Reading Shells You can tell a lot about the world a mollusk lives in by looking at the shape of its shell.

Shell FAQs

Identifying Seashells

Identifying seashell finds, guide for kids – start here for the younger ones; also has photos of seashells

Seashell Identification Guide – Find out what kind of shell you have by comparing it to the pictures.

Family Identification Help Page – beefier  than the guide just above. “The first step of identifying a shell is clearly the determination of the family to which the shell belongs to. Then you will be able to browse the family in order to discover its Genus name and then the Species name. This page will help you to succ[e]ed in the first step : identifying the shell’s Family.”

Shell Discovery: A lesson in inductive classification

Seashell Mapping –  has a nice little PDF map to help students sort shells for identification. Neat idea!

Language Arts

Poetry – Seashell. 2 page worksheet to help write a poem about seashells. (for younger kids)

Writing  – A Seashell Lesson: Writing for Detail and the Scientific Process – “Students use their senses to write detailed sentences about objects (for example, a seashell).”

Reading:  Why Do We Collect Shells? snippets from several people on why they collect shells (older students)

Nursery Rhymes/Poems – She Sells Seashells by the Sea Shore – Enchanted Learning

Spelling: Go through the reading material and select key concept words and use these for spelling lists.

Have student make a PowerPoint presentation or make up a test/quiz on what he/she learned.  To give this activity more purpose, find somewhere online to upload the test/quiz such as Quia or Quibblo or student can put on  your homeschool student gallery blog (if you have one or make one).  A gameboard/game could also be made with a seashell theme.


Shells in History (older students)


Seashell Search – Cute addition flash game! A seashell washes up on the beach and is collected in a beach pail  if you get an answer right. (1 digit addition)

Seashell Rounding Page

Seashell Match Up – pair up seashells (printable)

Sort seashells according to color, shape, size, etc.

Use seashells as math manipulatives (after cleaning)

This site has a discussion of some CMers (Charlotte Mason) who used shells as manipulatives. One homeschooler said her some memorized the math facts by using something tangible…shells

Home Ec – Cooking

Seashell Cookies – iced sugar cookies

Seashell Tuna Salad

Seashell Noodles in Pesto Cream Sauce

This one’s a neat one for kids (not a kids recipe, but due to the large pasta shells used, it would probably be fun for kids to eat)


Seashell Arts/Crafts

Tips on Cleaning and Preparing Seashells for Crafting

Seashell Wind Chime

I fondly remember making one of these when I was a kid. It was a super neat craft.

Seashells, Seashells for your home – ideas for decorating your home using seashells

Preschool Seashell Crafts – seashell candle, seashell monster, seashell necklace, seashell wind chime

How to Decorate with Shells – ideas for decorating with shells, shows pictures of different decorating ideas

Seashell Painting – KinderArt

Seashell Crafts for Kids

Seashell Texture Prints –

Seashell Mobiles

Shell Frame

Seashell Jewelry – 3 articles about making seashell jewelry

How to Make Seashell Keepsakes

Crafting with Seashells – seaside potpourri, seashell candles, seashell pin cushions

Seashell Paperweight

Seaside Mail Organizer

Seashell Shadow Box – a great way to display seashells collected

Seashell Tea Candles

Seashell Coloring Pages

Seashell Coloring pages from LucyLearns

Seashell Coloring Pages – this is just a google IMAGE search for ‘seashell coloring pages’ that turns up thumbnails of seashell coloring pages.

Seashell Coloring Pages – this is just a google search that turns up sites with seashell coloring pages

* Have student practice copying/drawing or tracking  a shell from a shell coloring page

Make worksheets from coloring pages.  Example: Letter /number recognition, take clip art of shells and paste numbers or lettes in them to make a drill sheet. (Arabic or English)

Islamic Studies/Arabic

Easily incorporate into other subject areas by reflecting upon the fact that shells are a Creation of Allah and their beauty and intricacy and that this was easy for Allah.

Also, learn beach terms in Arabic (sand, shell, etc). For older students, use these words as spelling/vocabulary.

Supplemental Resources

Fun & Games

Seashell Online Jigsaw Puzzle, 48 pieces

Collecting Shells

How to Collect Seashells – E-How

Cleaning Shells

How to Clean Shells

Picture Galleries

Live Seashells Picture Database – shows shells in their natural habitats

Seashell Fonts – just a few selections here. I really liked the Jenna font, but it didn’t work for me other than the S.

I hope you find these resources  helpful.

We “shell” “sea” you later, insha Allah!


Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Science


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3 responses to “Science: Seashells – Collecting, Learning about, and Having Fun!

  1. Jonam

    August 18, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Very useful links

  2. seashellsbymillhill

    September 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Wow you have a lot of links…I photograph shells for my business and have recently been trying to learn more about them…why didn’t I think to visit a homeschooler’s blog???? 🙂

    • talibiddeenjr

      October 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm

      Yep, don’t count us homeschoolers out. As a whole, I’ve found homeschoolers are super creative and resourceful!
      Glad you found the entry useful. Thanks for letting me know.

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