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
Keeping Watch on Coral Reefs
Students learn why coral reefs are important, and what can be done to protect them from major threats.
Long Live the Sharks and Rays
Students will learn about adaptations that have helped sharks and rays survive. Students will explore similarities and differences between sharks, rays and other fish and that different types of sharks and rays have different temperaments and diets and that some of the largest sharks and rays are the most gentle.
Focus on Farmer Fish
In this two part lesson, students gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between environmental factors and organism adaptations through a focused study on a specific coral reef denizen—the personable farmerfish. Students first take part in an interactive PowerPoint presentation to gain background knowledge and then apply learned concepts by participating in a board game.
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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.
Oil and Art
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.
Light in the Deep
How are deep sea animals adapted to their environment? Students will explore one camouflage strategy of deep sea animals through an in-depth examination of light properties in ocean waters.
A series of lesson plans that help students understand the properties of the deep sea including hydrostatic pressure and ocean zones.
Light at the End of the Deep, Dark Ocean
Students will experience the impact of bioluminescence on finding food and finding prey in the ocean. Students will be able to describe the positive and negative values of being able to produce light.
Hydrothermal Vent Food Web
Students will make a food web diagram of the hydrothermal vent community and show the flow of energy and materials in this ecosystem.
A coloring book sheet of a siphonophore, a jelly-like sea creature.
Benthic Octopus Coloring Sheet
A coloring book sheet of a benthic octopus.
Anglerfish Coloring Sheet
A coloring sheet of a deep sea anglerfish.
A coloring book sheet of a glass squid.
Deep Sea Squid
A coloring sheet of a deep sea squid.