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
Search 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.
The students will generate a KWL focused around the BP oil spill. What do they already know, what do they want to know, and what did they learn? Students can generate their ideas individually or in groups. After they have completed the K and W, students will watch the National Geographic documentary “Can the Gulf Survive?” During the video the students are to take notes and generate at least five questions that they have regarding the aftermath of this disaster. After the video the students will get back into their groups, discuss the video, and compile what they learned. The students will present their findings to the class.
To introduce students to ocean currents and the transport of marine debris, spilled oil, and other pollutants in the ocean.
The rise and fall of the ocean tides is a predictable phenomenon influenced by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. Here, students will learn about how tides are measured and predicted so that they can then create a presentation for fifth and sixth graders about the topic. Students will also become familiar with publically available data that anyone can use to study the tides.
Moorea Coral Reef LTER Education
To help students understand that science is a part of their everyday lives, students will complete an activity where they create a collage of people doing science using magazines and drawing pictures. This lesson gives students a realistic idea of what science is and helps them understand that scientists are real people answering interesting questions. Watch interviews with scientists.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Learn how scientists collect field data by being a scientist yourself! By studying a specific ecosystem, students learn how different scientists work together, what kinds of data scientists record, and experience the scientific process through observation and data collection.
NOAA Ocean Service Education
How does an ecosystem recover from a major one-time insult such as an oil spill? As you will learn from this Discovery Story, the answer is not simple. It isn't easy to determine whether a particular area of shoreline has recovered from oil during a spill, or how to expect it to look when it has.
The Ocean and You
A kit you can create to help your students understand the impacts of the Gulf Of Mexico oil spill. Easily contained in a box so clean up is easy...as compared to oil spills in real life!
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.
In this activity students are encouraged to consider how climate change could impact them personally and how changes may affect their regions. Students will analyze the roles of organisms as part of interconnected food webs, populations, communities, and ecosystems, assess survival needs and interactions between organisms and the environment, assess the requirements for sustaining healthy local ecosystems evaluate human impacts on local ecosystems.
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.