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.
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 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.
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
Students will learn about the natural and human threats to coral reefs including destructive fishing practices.
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.
Massachusetts Marine Educators
Students analyze maps of shipping lanes and whale sightings to devise a new shipping lane through the Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary to minimize ship strikes on whales.
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.