Octopus Printables

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What Is an Octopus?

Octopus (Octopus cyanea), Hawaii / Fleetham Dave / Perspectives / Getty Images
Octopus (Octopus cyanea), Hawaii. Fleetham Dave / Perspectives / Getty Images

The octopus is a fascinating sea animal. Octopuses are a family of cephalopods (a subgroup of marine invertebrates) known for their intelligence, ability to blend into their surroundings, unique style of locomotion (jet propulsion)—and, of course, their ability to squirt ink.

Two Groups

The 300 or so species of octopus alive today are divided into two groups: the Cirrina and Incirrina. The Cirrina (also known as finned deep-sea octopuses) are characterized by the two fins on their head and their small internal shells.

They also possess "cirri," small cilia-like filaments on their arms, adjacent to their suction cups, that may have a role in feeding. The Incirrina group (benthic octopuses and argonauts) includes many of the better-known octopus species, most of which are bottom-dwelling.

Ink Defense

When threatened by predators, most octopuses release a thick cloud of black ink, composed of melanin (the same pigment that gives humans their skin and hair color). This cloud doesn't serve simply as a visual "smoke screen" that allows the octopus to escape unnoticed; it also interferes with predators' sense of smell—such as sharks, which can sniff small droplets of blood from hundreds of yards away.

Help your students learn these and other interesting facts about octopuses with the following free printables, which include word puzzles, vocabulary work sheets, an alphabet activity, and even a coloring page.

02
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Octopus Vocabulary

Octopus Printables 2

Print the pdf: Octopus Vocabulary Sheet

In this activity, students match each of the 10 words from the word bank with the appropriate definition. It’s a perfect way for elementary-age students to learn key terms associated with octopuses, whose plural form can also be spelled "octopi."

03
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Octopus Wordsearch

Octopus Printables 1

Print the pdf: Octopus Word Search

In this activity, students will locate 10 words commonly associated with octopi and their environment. Use the activity to discover what students already know about this mollusk and spark a discussion about the terms with which they're unfamiliar.

04
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Octopus Crossword Puzzle

Octopus Printables 3

Print the pdf: Octopus Crossword Puzzle

Invite your students to learn more about octopuses by matching the clue with the appropriate term in this fun crossword puzzle. Each of the key terms used has been provided in a word bank to make the activity accessible for younger students. 

05
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Octopus Challenge

Octopus Printables 4

Print the pdf: Octopus Challenge

Beef up your students' knowledge of the facts and terms related to octopi. Let them practice their research skills by investigating at your local library or on the internet to discover the answers to questions about which they're unsure.

06
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Octopus Alphabetizing Activity

Octopus Printables 5

Print the pdf: Octopus Alphabet Activity

Elementary-age students can practice their alphabetizing skills with this activity. They'll place the words associated with octopuses in alphabetical order. Extra credit: Have older students write a sentence—or even a paragraph—about each term. 

07
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Octopus Reading Comprehension

Octopus Printables 6

Print the pdf: Octopus Reading Comprehension Page

Use this printable to teach students more octopus facts and test their comprehension. Students will answer questions related to octopi after they read this short passage.

08
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Octopus Theme Paper

Octopus Printables 7

Print the pdf: Octopus Theme Paper

Have students write a brief essay about octopi with this theme paper printable. Give them some interesting octopi facts—see slide No. 1—before they tackle the paper.

09
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Octopus Doorknob Hangers

Octopus Printables 8

Print the pdf: Octopus Door Hangers

This activity provides an opportunity for early learners to hone their fine motor skills. Use age-appropriate scissors to cut out the doorknob hangers along the solid line. Cut the dotted line and cut out the circle to create octopus-themed doorknob hangers. For the best results, print these on card stock.

10
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Octopus Coloring Page

Octopus Printables 10

Print the pdf: Octopus Coloring Page

Kids of all ages will enjoy coloring this coloring page. Check out some books about octopi from your local library and read them aloud as your children color. Or do a little online research about octopuses ahead of time so you can better explain this interesting animal to your students.

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Your Citation
Hernandez, Beverly. "Octopus Printables." ThoughtCo, Jul. 23, 2017, thoughtco.com/free-octopus-printables-1832433. Hernandez, Beverly. (2017, July 23). Octopus Printables. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/free-octopus-printables-1832433 Hernandez, Beverly. "Octopus Printables." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/free-octopus-printables-1832433 (accessed May 21, 2018).