Clairbourn School: Saltwater Shorelines - Beach Buckets

Published : Monday, October 26, 2015 | 11:59 AM

Students in Mrs. Pletcher’s second grade class are studying shorelines and beaches and are covering how to distinguished one from the other based on their observable characteristics.

Beaches are areas where humans can walk along the sand, whereas shorelines are areas where land meets water. The main types of beaches the children have learned about so far are rocky beaches, sandy beaches, coral sand beaches, and beaches with beach wrack (natural materials found on beaches that washes up out of the water).

They have also studied the difference between freshwater shorelines and saltwater shorelines and that these shorelines might be ​comprised of cliffs or ​other areas inaccessible to humans. They’ve ​learned that a saltwater shoreline occurs where the ​ocean meets land​, while a freshwater shoreline ​occurs where a lake, river, or other body of fresh water meets land.​

To bring in a hands-on element to their studies, groups of students gathered around beach buckets filled with sand and ocean items that came from a saltwater sandy beach.

Each child was invited to dig into the buckets, handle and observe the items​ and note their properties like colors, texture​, smell​, weight, and size. Students then used the observed properties as a way to group like items and practice their sorting skills.

View more pictures of the Beach Bucket exploration activity here.

Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit




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