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.
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!
California Academy of Sciences
Students will learn via experimentation that ice formations on land will cause a rise in sea level when they melt, whereas ice formations on water will not cause a rise in sea level when they melt. Students will learn that ice is less dense than water and that ice displaces water equal to the mass of the ice.
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.
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.
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.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Students will use graphical data to understand changing sea levels and how they will impact people around the globe.
Deep Earth Academy/ Consortium for Ocean Leadership
In this activity, students graph and analyze data from sediments collected off the coast of Santa Barbara, California to determine whether this information can be used to study historical climate change.
Deep Earth Academy/Constortium for Ocean Leadership
Students use foram “bio cards” to read and interpret authentic scientific data and build a graphic representation to unlock ancient history stored within sediment cores from the western equatorial Pacific.
Deep Earth Academy/Consotrium for Ocean leadership
Students read about “down-hole logging” technology, in which instruments are lowered from the drilling ship into the hole after cores have been removed to measure physical properties that reveal more about sea floor sediments and rocks. They then examine sample logs to note patterns and interpret the data.