Grandma Bird / After Reading / /

Rock Pool Habitats

Finding out about a rock pool habitat

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from Grandma Bird series

Text potential

  • Wider learning opportunities: Science: animals and their habitats


When he is alone on the beach, Noi spends his time amusing himself by playing imaginative games and exploring rock pools. If you live near the sea or can take a trip as part of broader learning in science, this book can be linked to a study of rock pool habitats.


  • See website for great rock pool lessons (resources below)


Begin by inviting the children to revisit Grandma Bird and make a list of all the creatures they see. For example:

  • shell
  • cockle
  • whelk
  • starfish
  • sea anemone
  • crab
  • sea urchin
  • seaweed

Final reflection

Invite the children to share what they have found most interesting about studying rock pools.

This lesson could lead to writing about sea creatures.

Key vocabulary

crab, limpet, sea anemone, seaweed, shell, starfish, whelk, sea urchin, tide, rock pool


The Big Book of the Blue

Published by Thames and Hudson. Authored by Yuval Zomer.

Why do octopuses have eight arms? Why do crabs run sideways? Are jellyfish made of jelly? Yuval Zommer’s beautiful new book provides the answers to these and many more fishy questions.

A First Book of the Sea

Published by Walker Books. Authored by Nicola Davies. Illustrated by Emily Sutton.

A spellbinding collection of poems about the oceans of the world and their shores. With this book, children can swim alongside dolphins and flying fish, pore over rockpools and sail from pole to pole and back, learning about everything from phosphorescence and plankton to manta rays and puffins.

RSPB The First Book of the Seashore

Published by Bloomsbury. Authored by Derek Nieman.

Each RSPB spotter’s guide comprises 35 common garden creatures for beginner naturalists. Through beautiful full-page illustration accompanied by key information about each creature, books are designed to encourage young children’s interest in the outside world and the wildlife around them. A spotter’s chart for children to fill in, and links to Internet-based activities in each book, mean that children can extend the fun.

Seashore Watcher

Published by QED. Authored by Maya Plass.

What lives on the beach? What lives in the shallow water? Can you track a Fiddler Crab? Learn how to spot tracks, identify markings and discover secret hideaways at the seashore. Packed with fascinating fact files, stunning photographs and plenty of hands-on activities, it’s the perfect tool to find out about what lives in the different habitats where the land meets the sea.

Learning Rooms: Rock Pools lesson plan

This lesson plan is based on using the Dr Forsey Outdoor Education Pond Dipping Kit – but you can use your own materials if this is not available.

The equipment found in the pond dipping kit can also be used to explore rock pools and discover the plants and animals living along a rocky shore. This lesson plan will how you how. The rock pool activity can be carried out by a class of school children lead by a teacher. It is suitable for use by primary pupils.

Visit resource

Bite size: Rock Pools

A look at how the creatures that live in a rockpool survive. The presenter begins by talking about the tide. With the help of an expert, Marcus, they explore rockpool life and how the sea anemone and seaweed anchor themselves to rocks for stability. Finally, they look at how a crab protects itself and how it can re-grow a leg or claw if it loses one.

Visit resource


Nikki Gamble

Nikki Gamble
Director, Just Imagine
Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature (4th edit) (2019) and co-author of Guiding Readers (2016) which was awarded the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2017. Nikki is KS2 reading advisor and series consultant for Oxford University Press and content creator for the Oxford School Improvement and Oxford Owl websites. Nikki is Associate Consultant at the University of London, Institute of Education and Honorary Fellow at the University of Winchester

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Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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