Ocean Life Teacher's Guide and Unit Plan
Teaching resources for using the Ocean Life activity in the classroom, helping students study how human activities impact sea turtles in Costa Rica and dolphins in New Zealand.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
This theme unit within Scholastic Explorers studies how human activities impact two specific ocean animals — sea turtles in Costa Rica and dolphins in New Zealand. In conjunction with the Earthwatch Institute, students will visit two field sites. The first is the Las Baulas National Park in Costa Rica. There, research teams are collecting data on the leatherback sea turtles that nest on the beach. The other site is the Kaikoura Peninsula in New Zealand. Researchers there are studying the behavior of dusky dolphins, especially around tourist boats.
Through on-the-scene field reports, photographs, some interviews with scientists and others on the site, students will discover firsthand how Earthwatch teams study animals in their natural environment and work to protect them. Students are then encouraged to apply the same scientific methods to learn more about aquatic ecosystems in their own region.
- Understand the importance of ocean life and the ocean environment
- Use graphic organizers to order their questions and discoveries
- Read online texts from the Field Reports to build comprehension of the nature of scientific inquiry
- Demonstrate an understanding of behavior and adaptations of organisms
- Interact with online technology to view, describe, and discuss different dolphin behaviors
- Investigate a local water ecosystem by making observations and collecting samples
- Use a variety of technological and informative resources to conduct research and analyze data about the sea turtles and dolphins
- Research ocean life and report on findings
Lesson Plans for this Unit
Lesson 1: Ocean Life for Grades 4-5
Lesson 2: Ocean Life for Grades 6-9
Lesson 3: Exploring Sea Otters
Lesson 4: Exploring Costa Rican Sea Turtles