Setting up the Activity in your Classroom:
There are two expeditions within the Ocean Life online activity.
as you plan your lessons, you may wish to print out any reading
assignment pages and staple them into a book for individual students.
Some sections that work well as printed reading are the field
sites and field reports.
Depending on time available, the grade level, and maturity
level of each class, activities can be facilitated as independent
work, collaborative group work, or whole class instruction. Teachers
may use the guide to teach a complete unit or break the content
into smaller learning components. Some suggestions are:
- Use field reports to learn about one animal – either dolphins
- Play the Turtle Hurdle game as a quick activity for students
to play and learn.
- Follow the “Be an Explorer” section as a day-long field trip
- Map the different field sites as a starting point to a geography
If a computer is available for each student, students can
work on their own. Hand out the URLs or write them on the board
so students will have a guide through the activity. Some sections
that work well as individual activities are:
playing the Turtle Hurdle Game and reading the Earthwatch Field
If you are working in a lab, set up the computers to be on
the desired Web site as students walk into class. If there are
fewer computers than students, group the students by reading level.
Assign each student a role: a "driver" who navigates
the web, a timer who keeps the group on task, and a note taker.
If there are more than three students per computer, you can add
roles like a team leader, a team reporter, etc. One section that
works well as small group activity is the Dolphin Observatory
where students can discuss the behaviors and co-author their observations.
If you are working in a learning station in your classroom, break
out your class into different groups. Have rotating groups working
on the computer(s), reading printed field sites and field reports,
holding smaller group discussions, researching and writing about
Stimulate Background Knowledge with these
BBC: Blue Planet Challenge, a natural history of the oceans
Choosing from seven ocean environments, users can play a game
that explains that environment and accept a challenge to explore
the environment on a deeper level.
For older students (Grades 7-12), the Marine Biology site
is a wealth of information about specific ocean life species as
well as conservation efforts and solutions. This is a good site
to start ocean life research.
Discovery School: Planet Ocean
Articles on the ocean, blue whales, barracudas and more allow
users to learn about the complexity and diversity of ocean life.
Includes a teacher tips and resources page.
Voyage of the Odyssey
Follow the five-year trip studying the health of the world’s
oceans. Watch videos of ocean life, track the voyage, participate
in an interactive ocean, and more.
SeaWorld: Diversity of Life teacher’s guide
SeaWorld presents this teachers guide complete with content
area vocabulary and ocean life activities offline. The focus is
on diversity and classification.
The University of Berkeley presents this simple activity to
give students a chance to build a fish that fits its environment.
After picking a habitat, students pick a head, body, tail, and
coloring for their fish. After choosing, the survive-o-meter will
tell users how well adapted their fish was to the environment.
Lawrence Hall of Science: Whale Sounds
Listen to four whale sounds and learn to identify whale calls
with their species. The site also introduces a Oscilloscope for
students to read and create.
Search for more ocean life teacher resources and student activities
by grade at AOL@School.
Graphic Organizer Narrative:
Observation Journal: Grades 4-8
(PDF) helps students take notes on their observations
of water systems. See Assessment and Evaluation
Reading Comprehension: KWL : Grades 4–8
This Reading Comprehension: KWL (PDF) helps students the organize
information they gather on ocean life. The lesson culminates with
a presentation of their researched material either in a written
report or oral presentation. See Assessment and Evaluation.
Source: The Big Book of Reproducible Graphic Organizers by Jennifer Jacobson and Dottie Raymer; Illustrated by Amy Redmond