Ocean Lesson Plans

Welcome to the Educators' Corner

The ocean provides the air we breathe, food we eat, and water we drink. Just as we need the ocean, the ocean needs each one of us.

Our Ocean Portal Educators’ Corner provides you with activities, lessons and educational resources to bring the ocean to life for your students. We have collected top resources from our collaborators to provide you with teacher-tested, ocean science materials for your classroom. We hope these resources, along with the rich experience of the Ocean Portal, will help you inspire the next generation of ocean stewards.

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From Our Collaborators

Students will study and replicate a model of the factors affecting fisheries populations in the Chesapeake Bay (or any other bay). Through a game they will investigate how decisions by watermen,...

Students explain the concepts of indicator species and microhabitats. Students compare and contrast “average regional conditions” with “site-specific conditions.” Students explain at least three...

Students will gain an understanding of the basic components of a coral reef ecosystem, with emphasis on specific abiotic and biotic factors crucial to reef health and trophic level relationships...

More Lesson Plans

Find lessons/activities by topic, title or grade levels. Sort by newest or alphabetically. Lessons were developed by ocean science and education organizations like NOAA, COSEE, and NMEA to help you bring the ocean to your classroom.

/ WETA/PBS Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Series
Students will study and replicate a model of the factors affecting fisheries populations in the Chesapeake Bay (or any other bay). Through a game they will investigate how decisions by watermen, recreational fisherpeople, and lawmakers influence and are influenced by economics and the abundance or scarcity of fish and shellfish stocks.
Grades: 9-12
/ NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries Program
The goal of this game is to illustrate to the students what happens to a fish stock when large amounts of biomass are removed from a particular species. Students learn about over-fishing and its impact on the ocean.
Grades: 6-8
/ WETA/PBS Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Series
Through a fishing simulation, students model several consecutive seasons of a commercial fishery and explore how technology, population growth, and sustainable practices impact fish catch and fisheries management.
Grades: 6-8, 9-12
/ PBS – Jean Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures
After an introduction to the variety of current fishing methods, students learn through an activity about the problem of bycatch and then design a poster or PSA to educate others about the issue.
Grades: 6-8
/ Marine Stewardship Council
A package containing lessons, worksheets, and activities to teach young students about sustainable seafood. Each subject has two levels: one for grades K-2 (key stage 1) and another for grades 3-5 (key stage 2).
Grades: K-2, 3-5
/ WETA/PBS Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Series
Students design and conduct research to discover firsthand what type of fish is being sold in their community, where this fish comes from, and whether that fish is an overfished species. This lesson gives students a chance to do their own market research and discover first-hand what type of fish is being sold to the public. It also provides an introduction to fish as an important food source and as an industry controlled partly by supply and demand. The results that emerge from this lesson will likely lead your students to question the role of public education in seafood choices for...
Grades: 6-8, 9-12
The lesson begins with a broader introduction on new species discovered around seamounts, then narrows down through mollusks to focus on squids. Students research and write reports on squids covering their body forms, feeding behavior, movement, and interesting facts.
Grades: 3-5, 6-8
/ Smithsonian Institution
In this series of lessons, worksheets, and activities, students will get acquainted with the habits, biology, and range of the giant squid. Students will understand the challenges in finding a “relatively small” giant squid within a vast and deep habitat and will also learn about the ever-improving technological resources needed to find a live giant squid.
Grades: 6-8
/ Alaska Sea Grant
In an interactive game, students simulate fishery activity to demonstrate the effect of new technology and overfishing. They then rewrite the rules of the game in an effort to establish a sustainable practice.
Grades: 3-5, 6-8
/ Sealaska Heritage Institute
Students will learn about the legend of the raven in the oral traditions and culture of the Tlingit and other Native groups along the Northwest Coast of the US. In this lesson, students will learn how the raven is often portrayed as creator and trickster, and was used to teach lessons to native children in the Northwest.
Grades: K-2, 3-5