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.
Search Lesson Plans
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.
Prince William's Oily Mess - A Tale of Recovery
NOAA Ocean Service Education
How does an ecosystem recover from a major one-time insult such as an oil spill? As you will learn from this Discovery Story, the answer is not simple. It isn't easy to determine whether a particular area of shoreline has recovered from oil during a spill, or how to expect it to look when it has.
Self Contained Gulf Oil Spill Kit
The Ocean and You
A kit you can create to help your students understand the impacts of the Gulf Of Mexico oil spill. Easily contained in a box so clean up is easy...as compared to oil spills in real life!
Is Climate Change Good For Us?
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.
Climate Change Metaphors
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.
What is El Nino?
Gulf of Maine Research Institute
This activity explores the potential for climate variability and change to trigger more frequent occurrences of El Nino, and the impacts that could result. Students will access information at remote sites using telecommunications. Students will identify impacts by reviewing past El Nino events. Students will analyze the data collected and predict what the consequences could be if, as some scientists predict, climate variability and change could create a permanent El Nino.
What Could a Hurricane do to my home?
Gulf of Maine Research Institute
This activity explores the potential for global climate change to increase the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and storm surges, and the impacts that could result. Students will explain the impact of hurricanes on coastal communities and identify possible trends in economic and human impacts by examining hurricane records. Students will predict impacts on coastal areas if hurricane frequency increases and sea level rises. Students will determine areas that are most vulnerable to hurricane surges by using topographic maps. Students will make and use scale drawings and maps or three-dimensional models to represent real objects, find locations, and describe relationships.