Designed by Carol Sconyers The octopus, which is also called “devilfish,” is a predatory mollusk with a pouch-shaped body and eight powerful arms with two rows of suction discs on each. It also has an ink sac, which it uses to darken the water when it senses danger. Octopuses are related to squids, cuttlefish, nautili and other mollusks such as snails, mussels and clams. They can creep over hard surfaces using their arms; when they travel through water they move by jet propulsion, taking in water and ejecting it forcibly through a funnel as their muscular mantle contracts. They vary in size from a few centimeters to the giant octopus of the Pacific Ocean, which can grow to over 10m. When threatened, octopuses will often try to escape by releasing a cloud of purple-black ink to confuse the enemy. Its body will change color, release an ink cloud and jet away to safety. Several blotches of ink can be released before the ink sac is empty. The ink is toxic to an octopus in a confined space such as in a cave with little water current or in captivity. If the octopus cannot escape the ink, the octopus will become ill or perhaps die. The eyes initiate color change in octopuses. If an octopus is disturbed, special pigment cells in the skin will be activated in an attempt to blend in with the surroundings. The special pigment cells consist of three bags containing different colors, which are adjusted individually until the background is matched. Coloration reflects mood, white for fear, red for anger, brown is the usual color. Educational Objectives: This lesson provides opportunities for students to: ·Learn how to form clay with your hands from a chunk of clay. ·Learn to build on a clay structure. ·Learn to make a small pinch pot. ·Learn to roll clay coils and add to a mass of clay.
Complete Lesson Plan Octopus (PDF)