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.
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.
NOAA Ocean Service Education
Coastal erosion is a natural process that sweeps large sections of land out to sea. Students will learn about how this process occurs and then explain how human activity can increase erosion risk. They will then determine how to reduce these risks, understanding both the advantages and disadvantages of various options. Students will also look a beach elevation data and make predictions on how vulnerable they are to erosion.
NOAA Ocean Service Education
Charting your course on the high seas is a skill required of all seafarers since the beginning of ocean exploration. In this lesson, students will use nautical charts to determine the distance between locations. They will also identify obstacles and features that can aid in navigation.
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.
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.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Students will use graphical data to understand changing sea levels and how they will impact people around the globe.
Deep Earth Academy/ Consortium for Ocean Leadership
In this activity, students graph and analyze data from sediments collected off the coast of Santa Barbara, California to determine whether this information can be used to study historical climate change.
Deep Earth Academy/Constortium for Ocean Leadership
Students use foram “bio cards” to read and interpret authentic scientific data and build a graphic representation to unlock ancient history stored within sediment cores from the western equatorial Pacific.
Deep Earth Academy/Consortium for Ocean Leadership
In this introductory activity, students analyze core sample data to identify sediment composition on the ocean floor. They use Google Earth to make their own qualitative observations that help them determine the types of sediments that make up the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.