This lesson is designed to take the students on a tour of the
different zones of life in the ocean and introduce them to the various adaptations
that exist in different zones.
3-2-1 Classroom Contact: Ocean Environments: 3-D Sea (#17)
Students will be able to:
- Describe and discuss main conditions in the various zones of the ocean
(the warm/shallow ocean, the very cold ocean, and the very deep ocean).
- Identify at least one animal that lives in each zone.
- Compare animals that live in the various zones and how they have adapted
to their habitats.
- pictures of various sea animals from books, National Geographic magazine,
and other science magazines that may be available
- drawing paper
Begin by asking the students to think about how the ocean's
surface waters differ from the waters that are thousands of feet deeper.
Discuss students' ideas and explain the differences between sunlight, twilight,
and midnight zones. Draw a diagram on the board showing how the sunlight
filters through the three zones.
Explain that scientists are most familiar with the animals that live in
the sunlight zone, since these animals (and plants) live closer to the surface
and are relatively easy to study. Point out that people know a lot less
about the animals that live in the deepest and coldest zones of the ocean.
To give the students a specific responsibility while viewing,
tell them that the video will show them different zones of the ocean: the
warm/shallow ocean, Arctic water, and the very deepest parts of the ocean.
Ask them to look for an animal that lives in all three zones.
video beginning where the title appears on the screen.
after the diver states the three main conditions for coral reefs (sunlight,
water temperature [68º-85º], and nutrients).
Ask students to repeat the conditions, and list them on the chalkboard.
after sturgeon and blue angel segment.
Ask students to name animals that live in the warm/shallow ocean zone. List
them on the chalkboard.
when the man explains why they are going in the Arctic water.
Ask students to explain why the man is interested in Arctic sea life. Ask
them to name animals that live in Arctic waters. List the animals on the
after the host explains that worms live in the deepest ocean.
Ask students to name an animal that lives in the deepest ocean zone. Add
it to the list on the chalkboard.
tape until the end of the segment.
Create a classroom library that contains books and magazines
that show pictures of animals that live in coral reefs, Arctic water, and
various ocean depths.
In groups of 2 or 3, have the students choose two animals to write about
from the example pictures. After students choose their animals, have them
decide what zone(s) the animals reside in based on general characteristics
of life in different zones.
Ask the groups to write what zone(s) they believe the animals live in and
support their choice with several characteristics they learned from the
video presentation. (Examples may include: animals in deeper depths are
usually smaller than those in shallower water; many animals in the deepest
waters are luminescent; and many animals in the sunlight zone have dark
backs and light bellies.)
Once the writing exercise is completed, ask each group to present and discuss
their findings with the class.
Invite a marine biologist to talk about the marine environment. Have students
write a story for the school newspaper about the biologist's visit.
Write or e-mail oceanographers and other marine specialists about their
work -- what they've discovered about the ocean and what special preparations
humans must take prior to a dive.
If possible, visit a local zoo and ask marine specialists what preparations
are necessary for ocean/aquatic displays -- including food, light, temperature,
Answer math teasers about the ocean. For example:
·Brain coral grows 1 yard in 250 years. How much does it grow in a
·A diver found some coral that was 40 feet thick. How old was the reef?
·If coral has a diameter of 1 foot, what is its circumference?
Use a globe, world map, or CD-ROM to locate each ocean on the earth.
Research how people use the ocean for commerce and transportation.
Create your own fish based on ocean adaptations. Draw it in its habitat
and describe its characteristics. A computer drawing program could also
Make a model of a coral reef.
Write a story about a dive into the ocean. Describe what you see and feel,
and describe some of your discoveries.
Read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne.
Research via CD-ROM or the Internet information on other, different aspects
of the ocean -- currents, trenches, mid-ocean ridges. Create a multimedia
presentation of the findings.
Discuss other ocean topics, including sonar (whales, porpoises, and submarines),
saliency (buoyancy), and water pressure.
Master Teacher: Kristin Bordenkircher
Lesson Plan Database
Thirteen Ed Online