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 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.
NOAA Ocean Service Education
Much like rising and setting sun has an impact on life on Earth, the cycle of the moon can change plant and animals behavior. In this lesson plan, students will discuss how the lunar cycle affects living organisms and how this might occur. They will also design experiments that could figure out whether the lunar cycle affects a specific behavior.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
This group of lesson plans focuses on primary production in the ocean via photosynthesizers, like plankton and algae. Students will learn what factors limit primary productivity in the ocean and about other ways ocean organisms produce energy (i.e. chemosynthesis).
In this activity, students will be able to compare and contrast the feeding strategies of at least three different types of gelatinous zooplankton, and explain why gelatinous zooplankton may function at several trophic levels within a marine food web. Given information on the vertical distribution of temperature in a water column, students will be able to make inferences about potential influences on the distribution of planktonic species in the water column.
In this activity, students will be able to identify major taxa that are dominant in deep benthic communities of the Arctic Ocean. Given distribution data for major taxa in different Arctic benthic communities, students will be able to identify patterns in the distribution of these taxa and infer plausible reasons for these patterns.
In this activity, students will be able to describe how ratios of stable nitrogen isotopes can be used to study trophic relationships between marine organisms, make inferences about trophic relationships between organisms and habitats, and compare and contrast organisms in sea ice, pelagic, and benthic communities in terms of feeding strategies and consequent stable nitrogen isotope ratios.