Ocean Lesson Plans

Welcome to the Educators' Corner

The ocean provides the air we breathe, food we eat, and water we drink. Just as we need the ocean, the ocean needs each one of us.

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.

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From Our Collaborators

Students learn the importance of monitoring endangered marine mammals like humpback whales and how monitoring can help marine conservation efforts.

Students will describe the overall events that occurred during the Cambrian Explosion; explain how methane hydrates may contribute to global warming; and describe the reasoning behind hypotheses...

What discoveries and human benefits have resulted from exploration of the Earth’s deep oceans? Students will be able to describe at least three human benefits that have resulted from explorations...

More 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.

/ NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students research and write about what it means to be an ocean explorer, both modern and historic. Students describe the nature of the ocean and ocean exploration. Students meet science mentors and role models online.
Grades: 6-8, 9-12
/ NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students explain the concepts of indicator species and microhabitats. Students compare and contrast “average regional conditions” with “site-specific conditions.” Students explain at least three examples of the impacts of climate change on top predators in the Arctic.
Grades: 6-8
/ NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students describe forms of energy found in the ocean and explain how they are used by humans. Students explain three ways that energy can be obtained from the ocean.
Grades: 6-8
/ NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students identify three chemicals that are pharmacologically active and are derived from marine invertebrates. Students describe disease-fighting action of these chemicals. Students infer why sessile marine invertebrates appear to be promising sources of new drugs.
Grades: 3-5
/ NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students describe alternative theories for arrival of first humans to come to America. Students explain evidence for these theories and explain how exploration of a submerged segment of Gulf Of Mexico coast may give insight into origin of native Americans. Students describe role of skepticism in scientific theory.
Grades: 9-12
/ NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students define terms pH and buffer. Students explain in general terms the carbonate buffer system of seawater. Students explain Le Chatelier’s Principle and predict how the carbonate buffer system of seawater will respond to a change in concentration of hydrogen ions.
Grades: 9-12
/ National Marine Educators Association
Students research the habitat and food of organisms living in a mangrove estuary, illustrate where mangrove organisms live and diagram a mangrove estuary food web.
Grades: 3-5, 6-8
Students investigate the relationship between the size of the wave and depth to which the effects of its energy can be observed.
Grades: 6-8
/ Deep Earth Academy/Consortium for Ocean Leadership
In this introductory activity, students analyze core sample data to identify sediment composition on the ocean floor. They use Google Earth to make their own qualitative observations that help them determine the types of sediments that make up the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Grades: 6-8
/ 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.
Grades: 6-8, 9-12