Oceans Night

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

What is Ocean’s Night?

Ocean’s 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 5:00-7:00 pm.  Come see all the wonderful ocean related projects in your child’s classroom and throughout the school!

5:00-6:30:  Junior Museum exhibit in the library (lots of hands on exhibits!)

6:00-7:00:  Grades K-5 classrooms 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.

Additional Resources for Kinder and First Grade – Tide Pools
Kinder First Grade - Tide Pools
Welcome to the Tide Pools!
Natural Bridges SB State Park
Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve:
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Aquarium Exhibits – Rocky Shore Exhibit

Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:

 Additional Resources for Second Grade – Sandy Shores
 Second Grade - Sandy Shores
Welcome to the Sandy Shores!
Elephant Seals:

Ano Nuevo State Reserve:

Bay Area Hiker – Description of Ano Nuevo Hike:

Pigeon Point Lighthouse:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:

 Additional Resources Third Grade – Baylands Third Grade - Marsh and Mudflats

Welcome to the Baylands!
Palo Alto Bayland Birds:

Bay Images:

Additional Resources Fourth Grade – The Kelp Forest Fourth Grade - Kelp Forest

Welcome to the Kelp Forest!
Monterey Bay Aquarium – Kelp Forest Field Guide:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:
California Living Museum

Reptiles and Amfibians

Fifth Grade Resources – Deep OceanFifth Grade - Deep OceanWelcome to the Deep Ocean! 


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

Diving Into Oceans

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

Light Zones in the Ocean

Cool pictures, details on all zones!

The Twilight Zone

This also has neat pictures and details!

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Deep Ocean Exhibit:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Activities:
American Museum of Natural History – The Living Ocean:

Whale Links:

American Cetacean Society Fact Packs – List on left of page



National Geographic – Information about many animals as well as whales


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association


The Oceanna Organization – Information about many animals as well as whales


The Whale Center


Whale Facts


Whale Net

Whale Organization