Zoology: (first circle)

Need for lesson - Pictures of sponges. Samples of natural sponges and a man-made sponges, and a magnifying glass.

Index File Card

can be pasted onto an index file card for quick reference


Zoology 49

There is one more invertebrate that we want to talk about. They can be found fresh water or salt water. Most of them are found in oceans, in coral reefs. It is an invertebrate called a sponge. These animals begin life as larva and swim around in the water. Once the larva land on a piece of rock, or to a part of a coral reef, they take root, or attach themselves there and will now always stay in that spot. Sponges are in the shape of a big "U". There are pores, or holes on the side of the sponge. They suck water in through these holes, and take tiny food particles from the water. So they suck water in, filter out some food and oxygen, and send the water back out.

There are five thousands different types of sponges! Some kinds of sponges are called;  ball sponge, stove-pipe sponge, and one kind is called an elephant ear sponge. They can be pink, blue, yellow, white, orange and purple. Because sponges can soak up so much liquid, they've proved useful to humans throughout history. Sponges are harvested by divers and are used for things like bathing, cleaning, painting, and women like to use them with their make-up.

Notice these sponges on my tray. These are natural sponges. Today companies make sponges that are used for cleaning or other things. These are man-made sponges. Do you notice any differences? We can use our magnifying glass to compare the holes in the two kinds of sponges.


Picture of Sponges (from the book, Sponges in Reef Life by Brandon Cole)


Sponge Samples

Additional Work:

Sponge Exploring - Although "sponging work" is often on the Practical Life shelf during the beginning of the school year, allow children to explore with both the natural sponge and man-made ones in water. Do they notice any differences?


Sponge Painting - Provide man-made and natural sponges. Children can paint with both and observe any differences between the sponges.

Coral Reef Coloring


Sponge Painting


Coral Reef Coloring Page

Practical Life:

Sponge Squeezing


Sponge Squeezing


Squish, Squash Sponge

Squish, squash sponge
Squish, squash sponge
See how they wash
See how they wash
They soak up the water for you and me
To wash and scrub our family
And tables and cars, as clean as can be
Squish, squash sponge
Squish, squash sponge

Science: (second circle)

Need for lesson - Natural and Artificial Card set (MontessoriPrintShop.com) or pictures of things that are natural and man-made or artificial.

Talk with the children about the sponges they used in the morning. Some where natural and some where artificial or man-made. There are many other things that are also natural or artificial. Discuss pictures.


Sorting Objects


Sorting Natural - Artificial Card Set