How to Make a Model Shark Habitat Inside a Shoebox

Shark habitats can be modeled inside an old shoe box.
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Sharks are large boneless fish that mainly live in oceans, although some reside in lakes and rivers. According to the website Enchanted Learning, there are 368 different species of sharks around the world, including hammerhead and great white sharks. Teachers may opt to complete a unit study on sharks, requiring a model shark habitat craft from each student once the study is finished to assess the student's comprehension of the material. A diorama created within an old shoebox is perfect for this assignment.

    Lay an old shoebox on its side so that you can see into it. The shoebox should not have a lid on it. If your shoebox has an attached lid, you will need to cut it off.

    Paint the inside ceiling and sides of the shoebox with blue-colored paints. This is your ocean background.

    Color the bottom of the inside of the shoebox with a sandy-colored paint. Scatter a light layer of sand across the wet paint for a more realistic ocean bottom. Set the shoebox aside until the paint drys. The sand will then be stuck to the paint.

    Wrap string around a few plastic sharks, and hang them inside the shoebox. Just tape the top of the string to the ceiling inside the shoebox. This gives the sharks the appearance that they are swimming.

    Glue or hang additional plastic ocean animals within the shoebox. Crabs, fish, seahorses, clams, squid, seals and sea urchins are all animals you could include in your shark habitat. In fact, many of these are necessary to show where the sharks get their food.

    Cut ocean plants out of construction paper and glue them around the sides of your ocean diorama, and to your ocean floor. Coral, seaweed, sea cactus, ocean lily and algae are all plants you should include in your shark habitat.

    Cover the front of the shark diorama with a sheet of blue plastic wrap. This is optional, but will give the illusion that you are looking through the water at the shark and its habitat.

    Things You'll Need

    • Shoebox
    • Paints
    • Paintbrush
    • Sand
    • Plastic sharks
    • String
    • Plastic ocean animals
    • Construction paper
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Blue plastic wrap
    • Tape


    • Create clay sharks and ocean animals if you do not have any plastic ones.

      Pictures cut from magazines or printed from an online source can also be used to replace plastic ocean animals if you don't have any.

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