The Ocean Institute at Dana Point is a gem. It's parked between coastal cliffs and the blue Pacific. The building's architecture is modern and open. Its proximity to beaches, restaurants, and other fun ammenities is convenient. Plus, the institute offers many interactive programs that indulge you and your child's ocean curiosity. There's onsite field trips, voyages on a 70-foot marine science research vessel and two tall ships.


We went on the onsite field trip, and it was spectacular. The learning experience is based on Eric Carle's A House for Hermit Crab. There were four stations, each one geared with literary creatures from the book and with a scientific emphasis on observations, characteristics, predator vs. prey, collecting data, and deciphering between fiction and nonfiction. 

The best part, there's tide pools several feet away filled with creatures from A House for Hermit Crab such as sea urchines, sea stars, sea anenomes, fish, sea snails, and more! If you'd like to take your class on a field trip to the Ocean Institute, click here for more details. If you'd like to go exploring with your family, they offer exhibit areas like Rock Reef tank, Interactive Globe, Pop-up experiments and other hands-on activities for just $5. 


To gear up my students for their #readitliveit experience, we read A House for Hermit Crab then worked on the following activities: a comprehension retell of the story then an art project with all of hermit crab's friends. If you'd like a copy of the activities, click here

STEPS: 1. Read A House for Hermit Crab 2. Discuss the story. Ask who are the characters, where the story took place, what was the sequence of events, what new lessons did we learn? 3. Using the graphic organizer, draw the seven characters Hermit Crab met along his journey 4. Decorate the shell, aka Hermit Crab's new home. We used watercolors and glitter 5. Cut out all the pieces and assemble. TA DA! Hermit Crab's new home.