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.
National Geographic Xpeditions
This lesson introduces students to latitude and longitude. They will look at lines of latitude and longitude on a United States map and discuss the reasons why these lines are helpful. Students will also discuss the ways that temperatures vary with latitude and will explain the clothes they might wear at specific latitudes.
California Academy of Sciences
Students will learn via experimentation that ice formations on land will cause a rise in sea level when they melt, whereas ice formations on water will not cause a rise in sea level when they melt. Students will learn that ice is less dense than water and that ice displaces water equal to the mass of the ice.
Students will use and describe how a variety of objects provide metaphors for why climate change is occurring and the impacts resulting from it. Students will demonstrate the ability to interpret metaphors, describe the factors contributing to climate change and make connections between human behavior and environmental changes.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students utilize a grid system to document the location of artifacts recovered from a model shipwreck site. Students use data about the location and types of artifacts recovered from a model shipwreck site to draw inferences about the sunken ship and the people who were aboard. Students identify and explain types of evidence and expertise that can help verify the nature and historical content of artifacts recovered from shipwrecks.
COSEE-Central Gulf of Mexico
After an introduction in which students try to identify hidden objects by the sounds they make when shaken in a box, students use string to map a model ocean floor by taking depth readings to simulate sonar.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students will be able to discuss why scientists believe there are important undiscovered features and processes in Earth’s ocean; discuss at least three motives that historically have driven human exploration; explain why ocean exploration is relevant to climate change; and discuss at least three benefits that might result from ocean exploration.
Sea World Education
Students explore the natural history of sharks and recognize that humans are an interconnected part of sharks’ ecosystems.
Often mislabeled as man-eaters, sharks prefer to eat creatures in the sea. Students learn about how different sharks play different roles in a food web.
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
Students will learn about the natural and human threats to coral reefs including destructive fishing practices.
Students will learn about how ocean temperature increase can be a cause of coral bleaching.