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Lesson Plans

Indian Ocean Explored
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

This lesson is based on the third episode of the NATURE series, INDIA: LAND OF THE TIGER, called UNKNOWN SEAS. Students examine the rich array of marine wildlife that lives in waters surrounding the Indian subcontinent. They explore the relationships among organisms in coral reefs. They learn about environmental dangers to coral reefs and research methods to protect them. fish photo

Grade Level:


Subject Matter:


Curricular Uses:

Marine Biology, Environmental Science

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Examine the rich array of marine wildlife that lives in waters surrounding the Indian subcontinent.
  • Discuss the interrelationships of organisms in coral reefs.
  • Formulate an environmental action plan to help save the coral reefs.
  • Understand the behavior of female olive ridley turtles.

    Use of Internet: Students will use the Internet to conduct Web research about scientific discoveries and environmental protection activities.

    Program Overview

    In the NATURE television program, Valmik Thapar embarks on a voyage to the warm, blue waters of the Indian Ocean in search of living treasures. He sets sail off the northwest coast of India near the Arabian Sea. Following the wind and water currents around the southern tip of India, he next explores the isles of the Andaman Sea. The last leg of his adventure takes him to the east coast, near the Bay of Bengal.

    While traveling in the Arabian Sea, Thapar explains that two of the largest creatures there -- the whale shark and the manta ray -- are harmless to humans and feed on tiny plankton. Thapar then explores a cluster of coral reefs and islands called the Lakshadweep, nearly 200 miles off the west coast of India.
    In the tropical Andaman Sea, the climate is perfect for the growth of coral reefs. These provide sustenance for many small fish, and supply feasts for predators such as sharks, rays, and tuna. More than 600 miles from the mainland, Thapar explores a chain of over 300 islands that were once part of a mountain range in southeast Asia. In this region, Thapar observes a group of "working elephants" swimming between the islands to haul timber for people.

    This lesson was developed by Jordan Brown, wNetSchool Master Teacher, and was funded by The Louis Calder Foundation.