Horses and the Dragons of the Sea

article by Roger Williamson , "Seahorse" by shellac is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Learning intention:

We are learning to understand the purposes of different texts and create an information text for an intended audience.

Success criteria:

Students identify information in the article that helps inform others on the topic.

Students explain ways an infographic helps people to learn.

Students create their own infographic using information from the article.

Create an infographic to teach other people about seahorses.

Ask students what they know about seahorses, allowing them to share their answers with the class. If possible, watch the YouTube video Seahorse | Amazing Animals from Nat Geo Kids to get them engaged in the topic. Students should then read the information in the article and underline 5 main points of their choice that they feel would help someone learn about seahorses. These may include:

A seahorse has a head like a horse with a long thin snout, a round body and a long tail.

They don’t have scales as they have an exoskeleton - a skeleton on the outside.

Their Greek name, ‘hippocampus’ means ‘horse-like sea monster.’

No other fish has its head set at a right angle to its body.

Seahorses swim upright.

Their eyes can look in different directions.

They have an air bladder, like a balloon, inside their bodies.

Seahorses like quiet, shallow and sheltered water.

They use their strong, curly tails to cling to a rock or a piece of seaweed.

Seahorses eat plankton, worms and other tiny sea creatures and can suck in their food from as far as 3cm away.

The female seahorse puts up to 400 eggs in the males pouch for him to look after.

The baby seahorses, or fry, are born one by one, four to five weeks later.

Ask for suggestions of other ways that can be used to present information about animals. Explain that infographics are used to display a range of information about a topic in a way that is easy to understand and captures people’s attention visually. Examples of animal infographics can be found in Tail and Fur’s article 20 Knowledgeful Animal Infographics. Students should then make a seahorse infographic to teach others about what they have learnt.

Extension task

Students can research another sea creature of their choice, writing down the main points and creating an infographic about it.