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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Students will use graphical data to understand changing sea levels and how they will impact people around the globe.
Students investigate the relationship between the size of the wave and depth to which the effects of its energy can be observed.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students describe alternative theories for arrival of first humans to come to America. Students explain evidence for these theories and explain how exploration of a submerged segment of Gulf Of Mexico coast may give insight into origin of native Americans. Students describe role of skepticism in scientific theory.