Electronic Learning
Oceans: Worlds of Water

Activity: Students discover how much of the world’s 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.

  1. As a group, look at your classroom world map or the on-line World Map, cited below.

  2. 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. The oceans!

  3. Challenge the class to estimate how much of the earth’s 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?

  4. After your discussion, share these facts with your students: The ocean covers about 70 percent of the earth’s surface. About 97 percent of all the earth’s 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 pie charts.

  5. Now visit the site Looking at the Sea: The Water Cycle. How were the world’s oceans formed? What causes the ocean to be constantly losing and gaining water?

  6. Ask children to identify the major oceans of the world. Which continents border each ocean?
On-Line Theme Unit






Looking at the Sea

Earth: The Water Planet

Looking at the Sea: The Water Cycle