The Topic:
Tide Pools

Easier - Tide pools are rocky areas on the edge of an ocean that are filled with sea water. Many plants and creatures live there. For example, you might see starfish, anemones, urchins, barnacles, crabs, kelp and other sea plants in a tide pool.
Harder - Tide pools are a unique and brutal habitat where the ocean meets the land. This tidal zone is continually shaped by the actions of sun, wind, water, and rock. The sun bears down, heating exposed surfaces and organisms. Winds blow and contribute to the wave action, erosion, and drying of exposed plants and animals. Water in the form of waves endlessly pound at the rocks, constantly reshaping the coastline. Rocks are pounded by the waves and loose stones and sand grind into the shoreline.
Life is tough for plants and animals that live in tide pools. Here portions of the shoreline are regularly covered and uncovered by the advance and retreat of the tides. In order to survive, tide pool life forms must avoid being washed away by the tidal waves, keep from drying out in the sunlight of low tide, and avoid being eaten.
Tide pools are subdivided in four zones. They are the splash zone and high tide, mid-tide, low tide areas.
Life at the Edge of the Sea: Virtual Tide Pool from PBS
Interact with one of nature's most fascinating places where ocean water and land meet and animal life ranges from soft-bodied nudibranchs to hard-shelled crabs, birds, and seals that come to feed at the water's edge.
Related Website:
2) Life at the Edge of the Sea
Virtual Tide Pool from the University of California, Santa Cruz
This site takes you on a virtual tour of a tide pool area, provides tips for preparing for a tide pool visit, provides information about the plant and animal life, and more.
Other Tide Pool Pages:
2) Tide Pools at Life in the Ocean
3) Tide Pool Pre-packet from Doheny State Beach Interpretive Program
4) Virtual Tide Pool
5) What About Tide Pools?
Tide Pool Page by C. Chase & J. Fitzpatrick
This website is devoted to the type of tide pool found on the Oregon coast and provides tide pool tips, information on tides, tide pool organisms, and more. There are tips for visiting tidal areas, including advice on how to minimize your impact on the pools.
Similar Websites:
2) Coastal Journey through the Northwest Intertidal Zone by N. Sefton
3) Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Life in a Massachusetts Tide Pool by K. Amaral
Take a peek inside a Massachusetts tide pool! Find out about sea stars, barnacles, and more exotic characters like sea cucumbers and bryozoans--and learn what's eating them!
Related Websites:
2) Tide Pools
3) Animals of the Tide Pools
4) Intertidal Life at Virtual Galapagos
5) Life in the Tide Pools
6) Plants of the Tide Pools
After visiting several of the tide pool websites, complete one or more of the following projects.
Create a Tide Pool Diorama. Visit the Tide Pool Box site to get some start up ideas for your own tide pool display. Be creative and see if you can improve on the ideas you find there. An alternative activity is to make a tide pool display using a paper plate. Find information about the process at Let's Make A Tide Pool.
Complete A Tide Pool WebQuest. Adapt or follow the procedures found at the following webQuest sites:
1) Intertidal Zone WebQuest
2) Save The Tide pools!
Play the Tide Pool Challenge. Go to the Tide Pool Challenge and find out how much you have learned or determine if you are a tide pool expert?
Write A Tide Pool Poem. Visit a tide pool; that could even be an online visit. Then write a poem that expresses your feelings about a tide pool. Share your poetry with friends. To get more information about poetry and writing poetry visit the 42eXplore Poetry for Kids project. Read a poem about a tide pool by J. Hayes.
Create a Tide Pool Mural. Create a tide pool mural that shows the four tide zones and what lives in each area.
Videotape a Skit. Write a script for a skit about a day in the life of a tide pool. What might happen during the day to the creatures that live in the tide pool and the people who visit? Make your own puppets or costumes to use in the skit. Create a videotape to share with another class.
Become a Sea Creature. Learn about a tide pool creature and act out how the creature acts in the tide pool. Who are your friends and enemies? How do your body parts work? How do you move?
Compare Water Life. Compare the life in a pond with the life in a tide pool. How are the plants and creatures alike and different? Create a chart or Venn diagram to show the comparison. Visit the 42eXplore on the topic of pond life for ideas.
Build A Tide Pool. Read about a tide pool project at Summer Work on the Stow Science Lab.
Write a Guide for Visiting Tide Pool Areas. You can get some ideas from sites like Rosario Beach Project. Include the importance of protecting and respecting tide pool life and directions for making a visit safe.
Websites By Kids For Kids
Life on the Rocky Shore (Gold Award, 2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site will help you learn more about life in a tide pool.
Secrets of the Tide Pools (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Have you ever wondered what creatures live along the rocky shores of the Pacific Ocean? This site will help you understand what goes on in tide pools.
Official Kids Guide to the Marginal Way
Fifth graders provide this online project on marine education that includes a tide pool field trip.
Similar Student Project:
2) Tidepool Field Guide
Tide Pools pools/tidepools.html
This site shows some of the marine life found in tide pools.
Simialr Student-Produced Websites:
2) Rocky Intertidal Zone
3) Secret World of Tide pools
4) Tide Pools
5) Tide Pools
6) Tide Pool Studies pool/
Tide Pools and the Life Within Them
This online article was an award-winning essay for Young Naturalists.
More Tide Pool Websites
Common Intertidal Invertebrates of Central California
This site has an online identification guide with photographs.
Companion Website:
2) Common Intertidal Plants of Central California
Related Websites:
3) Intertidal Animals from Kodiak Island, Alaska
4) San Diego Tidal Creatures - Tide Pools and the Inter-Tidal Zone at ReefNews
Exploring a Rock Pool (Tide Pool) from the British Marine Life Study Society
A 'rockpooler' is a naturalist explorer of the shore. This site gives rockpoolers information that may help them when visiting shores of which they are not familiar.
Not-To-Be-Missed Section:
2) Seaside Rockpooler
From Lumpfish to Limpets, Tide-pool Walks Explore an Amazing World of Curious Creatures by G. Johnston at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
This article summarizes a hike at a tide pool area.
Tide Pool Life and El Niño by B. Wikner
This site contain an online summary of a four month investigation into the effect of El Niño on the San Fransisco peninsula's coastal tide pools.
Tide Pool from Shedd Aquarium
Learn about tide pools typical of North America's Pacific Coast. When a tide pool forms, many plants and animals usually reside within. Some animals may temporarily be trapped and waiting for high tide to free them. Others make tide pools their permanent home, unwilling or unable to escape.
Other Aquarium and Museum Sites:
2) Habitats: Rocky Shore
3) Tide Pool
Watchable Wildlife: Tide Pools by B. Garrison, California Department of Fish and Game
This brief webpage offers good information, tips, and safety considerations for exploring tide pools.
Related Websites:
2) Tide Pools of Cabrillo National Monument from ReefNews Geography
3) Tide Pools at Puget Sound Shorelines
Visitors Pillage Pacific Grove's Marine Gardens by L. Chesky at Cyberwest Magazine
Read an article about the destructive poaching of tide pool inhabitants.
Websites For Teachers
Cabrillo Tidepool Study (Grade 5)
This four-week unit plan includes language arts and math activities and covers many life science topics including ecosystems, adaptation, life-cycle, food web, and conservation.
Marine & Aquatic Habitats Activities: Tidal Pools
A goal of this lesson plan is to have learners gain an understanding and appreciation of the interdependence of life, the survival needs of different organisms, and the conditions in a particular tidal pool area that can affect survival rates.
Tides by H. Perry (Grades 3-4)
The general focus of this lesson is to get learners thinking about the overall effect that tides have on the earth.
Tides and Intertidal Life
This lesson introduces students to tides, the four intertidal zones, and tide pool organisms.
Trekking the Tide Pool from San Diego Unified School District's (Grades 1-2)
This lesson teaches about tide pools, sea stars, and other tide pool animals.Students use that information to help them figure out a tide pool animal characteristic that could help a sea star to survive in the tide pools.
tide pool or tidepool
sub-tidal zone
splash zone
intidal zone
rock pool
sea star
velvet crab
ventral view
hermit crab
sea anemone
dorsal view
phases of the moon
hermit crab
sea urchin
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 7/01.