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Oceans Night

During the months leading up to spring break, Walter Hays transforms itself into the wonders of the ocean.

What is Ocean Night?

Ocean Night has been a Walter Hays tradition for many years.  While bringing the community together, this event showcases the hard work and learning of the students in addition to the dedication and devotion of the teachers.  The evening Ocean Walkabout provides a common theme that can be enjoyed throughout the school.  Students, parents, young and old are all invited to view the classrooms and take a journey through these unique habitats.

Each grade level studies a certain section of the ocean:  Kindergartners and First Graders start the journey by studying the tide pools and the creatures that live there.  Second Graders study the sandy beaches and the colonies of elephant seals that inhabit them.  Third Graders take a trip to the Palo Alto Baylands and learn about this vital ecosystem and its unique creatures.  Fourth Graders move away from the shores into the kelp forest to study both plant and animal life.  Finally, the Fifth Graders venture off into the deep ocean to explore the many mysteries of this vast region.

Use this site as a guide for any studies students might want to try at home.

Typically, Ocean Night falls on the Thursday night before Spring Week and is from 6:00-7:00 pm.  Come see all the wonderful ocean related projects in your child’s classroom and throughout the school!

Junior Museum exhibit in the library (lots of hands on exhibits!) and all classrooms are open.

What is the Hat Parade?

The Hat Parade includes all classes at Walter Hays right after drop off in a grade by grade lively parade of the students in their hatware representations of Tide Pool Creatures, Sandy Shores Denizens, Winged Baylands creatures, the Kelp Forest and Deep Oceans inhabitants and Fauna.  The Hat Parade is traditionally held on the last day of Oceans Week on the Friday before Spring break.

Kinder and First Grade Resources – Tide Pools

Welcome to the Tide Pools!

Natural Bridges SB State Park

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Aquarium Exhibits – Rocky Shore Exhibit

Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:

Second Grade Resources – Sandy Shores

Welcome to the Sandy Shores!

Elephant Seals:

Ano Nuevo State Reserve:

Bay Area Hiker – Description of Ano Nuevo Hike:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:


Third Grade Resources – Baylands

Welcome to the Baylands!

Bay Nature:

Palo Alto Bayland Birds:

Bay Images:


Fourth Grade Resources – The Kelp Forest 

Welcome to the Kelp Forest!

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Kelp Forest Field Guide:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:

Monterey Bay

California Fossils

Reptiles and Amphibians


Fifth Grade Resources – Deep Ocean

Welcome to the Deep Ocean! 

Oceanographers divide the ocean into five broad zones according to how far down sunlight penetrates.

Apart from these three zones differing in the amount of light reaching them, the temperature, pressure and nutrient supply of each differ as well.

This also has neat pictures and details!

Layers of the Ocean

Ocean Layers

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Deep Ocean Exhibit:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:

PBS Site Interactive Games

Whale Links:

National Geographic – Information about many animals as well as whales

Whale Facts

Whale Organization