Tidepools Activity Page
From Connections, May-August 2012
Download and print this page to complete the activities and check out the bonus activities.
Great Times to Visit
Just After a Storm: Go tide pooling after a coastal storm has just passed, and you might find some very interesting creatures and debris. Large waves generated by the storm may have washed things into the pools that would not normally be found there.
During spring tides: Spring tides have nothing to do with the seasons; they are very extreme tides that occur when the moon is full or new and the gravitational pull of the moon and sun are combined. At these times, high tides are very high and low tides are very low. The richest tide pools in the extreme low-tide zone are accessible only during these very low spring tides, and some high-tide pools get filled only during the very high spring tides.
Enjoy Some of These Activities After Tide Pooling
Make Your Own Field Guide
Photograph or draw the plants and animals you observed and identify them. Research some information in a publication or online, and write some interesting facts about each one.
Make a Scene
Create your own tide pool display with drawings, cut-out photos, or photocopies from publications.
Make costumes or puppets and write a script about tide pools. Act out how the various creatures move, find food, eat, and protect themselves. Tide pools are mini-ecosystems with lots of ecological “characters”: seaweeds play the role of plants, periwinkle snails are the grazers, and sea stars, crabs, and dogwinkles are the predators.
Write and share a story, poem, or song about life in a tide pool.
Compare Different Tide Pools
Look for information about tide pools in different parts of the world in books and field guides or online. How do the inhabitants and conditions of faraway tide pools compare to the tide pools of Massachusetts?
Irish moss is harvested commercially for its seaweed extract, which is used as a thickener in pudding and ice cream. You can make your own “blancmange” (a cold dessert similar to pudding) with this simple recipe, or you can find other recipes in cookbooks or online.
1/2 cup Irish moss (soaked in water for a few minutes, then drained)
4 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange flavoring
Directions: Heat milk until it simmers. Add Irish moss and simmer until it thickens. Remove Irish moss. Add sugar, vanilla, and orange flavoring. Remove from heat and chill in refrigerator until stiff.