Freddie is a flounder who is curious about why he looks different from his friends–and, for that matter, from his grown-up parents!  The Freddie and His Ocean Friends mini-course introduces different forms of life in the ocean, including both plankton and nekton, and explains how they are interconnected in a food web. You’ll learn that not only are there all sorts of animals in the ocean, but that even the same animal can look and act differently over the course of its life! Join Freddie, along with crabs, jellies, and sharks, to explore the beautiful and intricate web of sea life.

Mini-course is provided as a 31-page PDF including a Science Tool Kit PDF to collect your badges.

Prefer a printed mini-course? Freddie and His Ocean Friends is also available as a beautiful workbook here on

Course Contents

  • Story: Freddie and His Ocean Friends. Join Freddie as he learns about how his body will change shape as he gets older (his eye will move!) and how all the large and small forms of sea life are interconnected in a food web.
  • Activity 1: Flinking! Plankton must float at just the right depth in the ocean to survive. Can you build plankton that floats just right?
  • Activity 2: Tangled Up in Food Webs. Grab friends or stuffed animals to pretend you are animals in the ocean. Can you figure out which animals are connected by what they eat?
  • Activity 3: A Food Chain Card Game. Figure out who eats whom to build your own food chain. Who will build the greatest number of food chains and earn the most points?
  • Activity 4: Create Your Own Metamorphosis. What features will your sea creature have and how will they change as he or she grows up?
  • Curiosity Connector. Use online resources to learn more about ocean food webs.
  • Tools for Your Tool Kit. See if you can answer all the questions about food webs and metamorphosis to earn Tools for your Science Tool Kit.
  • Glossary. Learn cool new ecology and marine biology definitions.

Materials Needed

Water, scissors, tape, blank paper, paper clips, string or yarn, coloring materials (crayons, paint, markers), empty shoe box, hole punch (optional), 8 stuffed animals (or friends), various small household items (floaty bath toys, paper clips, corks, erasers, clay, toothpicks, etc.), small bowl or container, larger bucket (~5 gallon) or tank

Concepts and Ideas

Freddie and His Ocean Friends includes the following Disciplinary Core Ideas as described in the Next Generation Science Standards:

Structure and Function (LS1.A), Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms (LS1.C), Biodiversity and Humans (LS4.D), Growth and Development of Organisms (LS1.B), Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems (LS2.A).

Scientific Expert  Tucker Hirsch.

Illustrations by Rachel Caauwe.