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.
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.
Sealaska Heritage Institute
Students will learn about the legend of the raven in the oral traditions and culture of the Tlingit and other Native groups along the Northwest Coast of the US. In this lesson, students will learn how the raven is often portrayed as creator and trickster, and was used to teach lessons to native children in the Northwest.
WETA/PBS Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Series
Students design and conduct research to discover firsthand what type of fish is being sold in their community, where this fish comes from, and whether that fish is an overfished species. This lesson gives students a chance to do their own market research and discover first-hand what type of fish is being sold to the public. It also provides an introduction to fish as an important food source and as an industry controlled partly by supply and demand. The results that emerge from this lesson will likely lead your students to question the role of public education in seafood choices for sustainable fisheries.