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.
Featured Lesson Plans
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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.
Students will demonstrate the different methods used to clean up after an oil spill and gain an understanding of the difficulties that are encountered.
Students use a variety of materials to construct various models of plankton to gain an understanding of neutral buoyancy.
The goal of this activity is to get students thinking about oil in the ocean, and in particular about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the challenging cleanup efforts. Each pair of students will have a water-filled tray to represent the Gulf of Mexico and a set of materials to respond to the simulated oil spill.
This activity is useful for a wide range of ages and works well in a camp or classroom setting. This challenge, including introduction, hands-on activity, and discussion, takes about 1 hour.
The Adventures of Zack and Molly is a new, four-part video series about an unlikely duo exploring the deep ocean produced by ECOGIG in collaboration with Sherman's Lagoon creator and filmmaker Jim Toomey.
The Learning Guide provides discussion points, connections to Next Generation Science Standards, hands-on activities, and further resources. Spanish version available here.
National Museum of Natural History
Join Ocean Portal Editor-in-Chief Emily Frost and museum educators from the National Museum of Natural History as they guide you through the Ocean Portal website, exploring a multitude of digital assets including vetted scientific information, interactive content, and education resources.
Virginia Sea Grant
Along the East Coast of the United States, two diseases can cause significant damage to growing oysters and in some cases even kill them. In this lesson plan, students will use data to determine whether water temperature, oyster size, or time of planting determines whether a young oyster becomes ill with disease.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
The veined rapa whelk is an invader in Chesapeake waters. These predatory snails eat ecologically and economically important shellfish that are native to the bay. In this lesson, students will learn about invasive species and predict where the invasive rapa whelk will live within the bay. A discussion of invasive species impacts on native ecosystems will follow.
An observer on the seashore may make the mistake of thinking that all ocean water is the same. But the ocean is actually composed of several layers of water with specific properties—temperature and salinity being the main drivers of layering. Students will see how these two properties affect layering in the ocean.