Oceans: Worlds of Water
Activity: Students discover how much of the
worlds surface is covered with water, find out
how the oceans formed, learn the names of
major oceans, and identify the continents that
border each one.
- As a group, look at your classroom world
map or the on-line World Map, cited below.
- Remind your students that there are many
different kinds of ecosystems around the
earth, from the Arctic tundra to the Amazon
rain forest. Ask students to discuss which
habitat they think is the largest in the world.
- Challenge the class to estimate how much of
the earths surface is covered by the ocean.
Now have them take a look at the map on
the site Looking at the Sea, in which all the
continents are shown as one landmass. Does
this change their estimates?
- After your discussion, share these facts with
your students: The ocean covers about
70 percent of the earths surface. About 97
percent of all the earths water is found in
the ocean. (Ice caps, glaciers, lakes, and
rivers make up the other 3 percent.) Visit
the site Earth: The Water Planet for related
- Now visit the site Looking at the Sea:
The Water Cycle. How were the worlds
oceans formed? What causes the ocean
to be constantly losing and gaining water?
- Ask children to identify the major oceans of
the world. Which continents border each ocean?