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Octopus One person is the "octopus." Everyone lines up on one edge of the boundaries and must run to the opposite side when the octopus yells out "octopus." The people that get tagged by the octopus become frozen taggers. They are allowed to pivot on one foot and tag people as they run by. The last person caught is the new octopus.
Octopus Mark a goal line at each end of playing field. Choose a child to be the octopus, the rest of the children are fish. The object is for the octopus to catch the fish by tagging them with a sponge ball. If a child gets hit they must freeze and become an octopus tentacle. The tentacle may help the octopus by using their hands outstretched to tag fish. Only the octopus may move however. To begin playing, all fish line up at one goal line. The octopus calls out,"Fish, fish, swim in my ocean." At this command the fish must try to cross the ocean without getting caught. The last one to be tagged is the next octopus.
Math How many legs does an octopus have? Count them and explain octo means eight. Collect different items of eight in each group.
Science Where do octopus' live? What do they eat? Cut out and laminate pictures of real octopus' and discuss their features.
Background Information An octopus has 8 arms called tentacles. These arms are webbed together by a layer of skin called a mantle. Under this layer of skin are color cells that make the octopus look white, grey, orange, red, or brown. Being able to change colors can help the octopus catch its dinner. It's bright colors attract and confuse other sea animals. When they swim closer to look at the octopus, he catches the animal for his dinner. There are rows of suction cups along the edges of the arms that stick to objects and help the octopus pull itself along and move. When the octopus is in danger, it can squirt a cloud of black ink so the animal can't see it. Then it swims away fast. If one of the tentacles gets caught or bitten off by an animal, like a shark, it will grow back in a few weeks. Octopus eggs are very tiny (microscopic), about the size of a grain of rice. Mother octopi lay about 1000 eggs at a time. She cares for them in a nest she builds under rocks. Once the eggs hatch, the mother dies. Her work is done.
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