Sharks & Skype


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Units of Inquiry | Posted on March 1, 2016

This morning started out like any other…until the Grade 6s found themselves talking to a shark expert in America as part of their unit of inquiry.

It may have been Tuesday 1st March in Australia, but it was still February over in Colorado, America! Through the wonderful Skype in the Classroom Virtual Field Trip website we were able to make contact with Lauren from Ocean First Institute.




The Grade 6s are currently learning about animal adaptations and Lauren was able to give them some new information. We are very grateful for the opportunity to hear from Lauren and appreciate the photos, video and shark jaws and teeth she shared.











Not the best photo, but these are shark teeth.


After the Skype call, students used the notes taken to write about their new knowledge. You can read some of their writing below:


Are you scared of sharks or think they are hurting people? Well we’re hurting them more than they are hurting us. Did you know you are more likely to be killed by lighting than a shark attack? Sharks are endangered and if you want to help you’re going to need learn about sharks.

Did you know the world is exactly 71% water and sharks are in every part of it? There are over 500 hundred species of sharks covering every ocean and sea. Here are just a few of these amazing species, hammerhead shark, great white shark, mako shark, velvet belly and whale sharks. These are all very different species and each has a different way of living.

Each shark has its own unique ability. The mako shark can swim up to 50 miles/80.4672 kilometres per hour. That’s fast! The hammer head shark smells its prey and sways its head to whichever side the smell is stronger on. The whale shark has a unique ability as it filter feeds, filter feeding means it filters plankton into its mouth.

Camouflage is another needed ability for slow sharks or small sharks, like the velvet belly whose belly glows, so to predators below it looks like the moon light or sunlight. Another glowing fish is the mega mouth that has a big florescent strip just above its mouth which lures fish to a close distance so the mega mouth can catch them. Another camouflage is counter shading which the great white uses. Its back is blue and the belly is white which makes it look like sunlight from fish looking up and sea water from fish looking down. Carpet fish also use camouflage in a great way. The carpet fish looks like coral so when a fish swims by it just thinks its coral until it leaps up and eats it!

Some things are very important to most sharks like teeth. Sharks have adapted to having five rows or more of teeth. Did you know a shark loses 30 000 to 50 000 teeth through its lifetime?  Another thing all sharks need is water going through their gills. To do this, they must continue to move so to sleep they only turn off half their brain so they keep moving. All sharks have a sixth sense which allows them to detect electricity coming off other animals, some sharks use it less than others as some live in murky water.

This is just some new information we learnt from Lauren Rieger through a Skype call. Now we hope you have learnt that sharks are amazing and not at all dangerous to humans. We think that humans should take better care of our marine life!

By Benjamin H and William F (6W)


There are 500 species of shark and they come in all shapes and sizes.

On 1st March we had a Skype lesson with the marine biologist Lauren Rieger who told us about sharks.

Great whites lunge at their pray with great speed and to protect their eyes they roll their eyes back into their eye sockets.

Goblin sharks are unusual. They have a very long nose. Impressed? No? Well, this next part is impressive…their jaws can expand as long as their noses to catch their pray. Now that’s impressive!

Hammerhead sharks are the latest shark discovered in the ocean. Hammerhead sharks have nine different varieties of heads from boomerang to shovel to hammer.

Sharks are awesome and because of Lauren we were able to learn more about them.

By Dean (6W)


We would like to thank Lauren for an amazing Skype call filled with the perfect combination of videos, pictures and props. We would also like to thank her for answering many questions and sharing her vast knowledge of sharks with us. It’s not everyday you speak to someone on the other side of the world, let alone someone who knows so much about sharks.


What do you still want to learn about sharks?

Where should we go for our next virtual field trip?

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