Octopus Themed Unit: Literacy & Math Centers & Activities

Grade Levels
PreK - 1st, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
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126 pages
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Do you need some octopus themed literacy and math activities? This resource is for you! Easy Prep Octopus Themed Cross Curricular Centers & Activities for Lower Elementary Children! The resource includes a literature list, writing station, classroom & student books, art projects, and literacy & math centers. Octopus fun for everyone!

Resource Prep: Each activity below includes the prep needed to do an activity with students in the description. It may include just copying worksheets or printing, laminating and cutting center games. Each direction to games is located on one of the game sheets for student use. 

Resource Includes the Following:

☀️ Octopus Literature List

☀️ Octopus Writing Station Words

☀️ Classroom Books

☀️ Student Booklets

☀️ Student Worksheets

☀️ Art Projects

☀️ Literacy Centers

☀️ Math Centers

Resource Directions:

Octopus Literature List: Choose books from the list about octopus to read to your students.

Octopus Writing Station Words: Print and laminate a few colored copies of the octopus Writing Station words for students to use or copy one sheet for each student to put in their writing folder or journal.

Classroom Books:

“The Octopus” Classroom Book: Copy cover on cardstock and then copy a sheet for each student and have them write what they know the octopus can be or do. Collect each student's paper and make classroom book binding or stapling book together.

“The Adventures of Ollie the Octopus” Classroom Book: Copy cover on cardstock and copy a few more student sheets than you have students., use a pain piece of cardstock for the back and bind the book together.

I have a stuffed Octopus that we call Ollie that travels home in a bag with students each weekend. I usually have my student of the week take him home and he stays with the student over the weekend. In his bag I have a little blanket, toothbrush the book Commotion in the Ocean, a parent note, and the classroom book The Adventures of Ollie the Octopus. Before coming back to school students fill out a student page of the classroom book and then return with Ollie and his bag. Monday morning students read what Ollie did over the weekend with them. This activity has been so great for my students and it is amazing the things Ollie gets to do! I have included the note to parents.

Student Booklets:

Octopus Facts Student Booklet: Copy booklet on regular copy paper.. After reading about and discussing the whales have students write and draw facts about whales. An answer sheet is provided.

How Many Octopus? Student Booklet: Students can work on this booklet at the center or quiet work time to practice their number and color words. You can copy the pages on regular paper, they are printed so you can copy back to back to make individual student booklets.

Student Worksheets:

Story Elements Graphic Organizers (2 types): After reading a story from the literature list a few times, have students fill out the story elements: characters, setting, problem & ending., either by drawing or writing out with words.

Beginning, Middle and Ending Organizer: (3 types): After reading a story a few times, have students fill out the story parts organizer, naming the beginning, middle and ending of the story. One organizer is in the shape of a fish.

Sequencing Retelling Graphic Organizers (2types): After reading a story from the literature list a few times have students fill out the sequence story retelling. Students must sequence the events in the story in order.

Octopus Nonfiction Organizers: After reading a factual book about fish students fill out this nonfiction organizer with 3 facts they have learned about fish. Students must include a topic and concluding sentences about fish. At the bottom of the sheet, students write out their facts and conclusion into sentences to make a paragraph. This paragraph can be typed up to make a classroom book or a student display.

My Octopus Story: Student write about what they know or a fictional story about fish. There are two pages one with title and then extra writing sheet to each sheet You can copy as many pages as you would like students to do.

Octopus Acrostic Poem: Make a copy for each student and have them write things they know about octopus using the first letters in the word octopus. Note: For my students who were younger we did this activity with our 4th-grade buddies.

Octopus Venn Diagram: After reading the book Tickly Octopus and factual books about octopus students compare Tickly to real octopus. With younger students we did this as a group together, older students could handle this on their own as long as they are familiar with how to use a Venn diagram.

Art Projects:

Octopus Art Project: Copy and assemble the Octopus using the directions and template page in the unit. Put the student’s octopus in the hallway or in the classroom for decorations.

Toilet Paper Roll Octopus Art Project: Copy and assemble the octopus using the directions and template page in the unit. Put the student’s octopus in the hallway or in the classroom for decorations.

Literacy Centers:

Octopus CVC Make a Word Game: Students insert vowels onto the line on the octopus cards and make words. Children can write the word on paper or whiteboard or use one of the 10 worksheets to go with this activity.

Octopus Sight Word Game(s): Word Game: Children place cards face down and take turns drawing a card. If a student can read the word, they keep it, if they cannot they must put it back. If they draw a Direction Card follow its directions They must read all their cards, the person who has the most cards wins.

Memory Game: Make two sets of the word cards and children place the cards face down in rows. They take turns turning two cards over to see if they have matched the same words. If it does they keep both cards, if not they turn the cards back over and the next child has a turn. The person who has the most matches wins the game.

Octopus Short Vowel Sounds Roll It! Read It! Words & Sentences: Two types of game cards with short vowel sound words and sentences. There is a game card of words and sentences for each of the short vowel sounds. There are10 game cards in total. Students roll one dice and read the words or sentences in the row they have rolled.

Math Centers:

Octopus & Ocean Number & Number Word Match Game: Children place the number of counters to match the number word or numeral on the number card. Number Words cards are 0-10, Numeral cards are 0-20.

Octopus Roll & Cover: One or Two Dice Roll: Roll One or two dice and count your dots. Cover the number of dots you rolled with your marker. Two players will need to use two different colors. Covering the most numbers wins!

Octopus Addition & Subtraction Facts Clip Game (0-10): Children read the addition number sentence and find the sum or differences of the two numbers. Children place a paper clip or clothespin to the correct answer of the number sentence. You can separate the game cards in sets from 0-5 and sets from 6-10. Note: Put a little sticker on the back of the card in the correct answer space so students can self-correct their answers.

Kids have some octopus fun while learning a variety of skills!

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Total Pages
126 pages
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
Fluently add and subtract within 5.
Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract. If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.)
Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem. For example, subtract 10 – 8 by finding the number that makes 10 when added to 8.


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