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.
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.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students research and write about what it means to be an ocean explorer, both modern and historic. Students describe the nature of the ocean and ocean exploration. Students meet science mentors and role models online.
NOAA Ocean Service
Students will be able to explain and carry out a simple process for separating DNA from tissue samples and complex mixtures. Students will also be able to explain the process of restriction enzyme analysis.
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.
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.
COSEE – Central Gulf of Mexico
To synthesize a lesson on coral reefs, students write first person narratives as though they were reef organisms including their daily lives and the threats facing themselves and their communities.
NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries Program/National Geographic
Students learn the importance of monitoring endangered marine mammals like humpback whales and how monitoring can help marine conservation efforts.
University of Maine Lindsey Lab
This lesson introduces high school students (grades 9-12) to the topic of sensory perception in the marine environment. The WebQuest introduces the role of acoustic cues in ocean ecology and challenges students to determine if acoustic warning devices are useful tools to prevent right whale fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes in the Gulf of Maine.