Pol ar Oc e a n s
Hi ghlights From Is sue 14 (May 2009) A jellyfish under the Ross Sea ice. Photo courtesy of Henry Kaiser, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
Table of Contents
Polar Oceans, Issue 14 (May 2009) Science Content Knowledge
Poles Apart: A Tale of Two Oceans
By Jessica Fries-Gaither and Carol Landis
Literacy Content Knowledge
Active Participation: Ensuring Student Engagement
By Tracey Allen and Clarissa Reeson
A Whale of an Ocean
By Stephen Whitt
Common Misconceptions About Oceans
By Jessica Fries-Gaither
Across the Curriculum: Lessons
As Big as the Ocean: Creating Murals
By Jessica Fries-Gaither
Science & Literacy: Lessons
Hands-on Lessons and Activities on Oceans
By Jessica Fries-Gaither
Teaching and Assessment Strategies
Performance Assessments: A Marine Example
By Jessica Fries-Gaither
Off the Bookshelf
Polar Oceans Virtual Bookshelf
By Julie Moran
Copyright April 2010. Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is produced by an interdisciplinary team from Ohio State University (OSU), College of Education and Human Ecology; the Ohio Resource Center (ORC) for Mathematics, Science, and Reading; the Byrd Polar Research Center; COSI (Center for Science and Industry) Columbus; the Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL); and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Printed version layout and design by Margaux Baldridge, Office of Technology and Enhanced Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University.
Science Content Knowledge Poles Apart: A Tale of Two Oceans By Jessica Fries-Gaither and Carol Landis At the opposite ends of the earth lie the Arctic and Southern Oceans. Don't know much about them? You're in good company. These two bodies of water are often overlooked as we focus on the more familiar Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Yet they are surprisingly different from each other, are home to a wide variety of species, and play important roles in the polar regions' and our earth's climates.
Arctic Ocean currents and sea ice extent. Map courtesy of Phillippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/ocean_currents_and_sea_ice_extent.
connects the Arctic Ocean to THE ARCTIC OCEAN: WATER the Pacific, and the Greenland SURROUNDED BY LAND and Labrador Seas join it to the The Arctic Ocean lies almost Atlantic. entirely within the Arctic Circle (66 degrees N latitude). It is the The presence of the continents smallest and shallowest of and the shape of the ocean earth's five oceans, with an basin restrict the flow of water area of approximately into and out of the Arctic 5,427,000 square Ocean. As a result, miles and an the Arctic Ocean is "SDUJD average depth of 0DFBO somewhat isolated 3,410 feet. It is /PSUI from the rest of the 1PMF almost entirely oceanic circulation. bordered by land: Conditions in the Eurasia, North Arctic are also unique America, Greenland, to that region because and several islands. Arctic Ocean Map. of this isolation. Map courtesy of CIA, The Bering Strait The North Atlantic Wikipedia.
current brings warmer water from the Atlantic, providing about 60 percent of the ocean's inflow. Some water also moves into the ocean from the Pacific via the Bering Strait. Several rivers move freshwater into the ocean. The East Greenland and Labrador currents transport cold water from the Arctic Ocean into the Atlantic. Some water also moves into the Pacific via the Bering Strait. The area is completely covered with sea ice each winter, followed by varying amounts of sea ice loss each summer. Summer melt has rapidly 3
Science Content Knowledge
Pancake ice. Photo courtesy of Hans Kylberg, Wikimedia Commons.
increased in the past decade as a result of climate change. Sea ice forms at the surface of the liquid water. This means that it initially forms as floating "pancake ice" on the surface of the water. The pancake ice eventually freezes into a continuous layer. Once a layer of ice is present, new ice forms on the underside of the existing floating ice layer. The ice actually forms an insulating blanket and at some point the water is no longer affected by the bitterly cold winter air of the northern latitudes. The formation of sea ice also impacts the water's salinity. As seawater freezes, salts and other 4
substances in the water are squeezed out of the spaces between the water molecules. This means that salts are excluded from the ice, and that sea ice is actually more like freshwater ice (not as salty as seawater). As the process continues, small pockets develop in the ice, where the salt water becomes more and more concentrated into brine. This dense fluid moves downward through the ice and contributes to an increasingly dense layer of very cold water just below the ice. The cold, dense water sinks and moves south; in its place, warmer water moves north. This global transportation of water is known as thermohaline circulation - an important deep
water current that connects all the ocean basins. The temperature of the Arctic Ocean's surface is fairly constant, around the freezing point of seawater. The relatively warm ocean water has a moderating effect, even when covered by ice. This is one reason why the Arctic does not experience the extreme temperatures of the Antarctic. Like all other oceans, the Arctic Ocean plays an important role in the global climate. Cold air masses form over the Arctic Ocean and move toward the equator, mirroring the flow of cold water via outgoing currents. When cold air meets warmer air at the mid-latitudes, it causes storms and precipitation. The Arctic Ocean is home to a surprising number of organisms - recent work for the Census of Marine Life estimates the number of species around 5,500. The Arctic marine food web begins with microscopic producers called phytoplankton. Some, known as ice algae, live on the underside of sea ice, absorbing solar radiation while benefitting from the ice's Marine diatoms seen through a microscope. These particular specimens were living between crystals of sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Photo courtesy of Gordon T. Taylor, Wikimedia Commons.
Science Content Knowledge insulation. Others float freely in the water. Diatoms are one important type of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are eaten by zooplankton - tiny animals that drift in the water. One common zooplankton is the copepod, a small, shrimplike animal. Crustaceans, squid, jellyfish, and small fish make up the food web's next tier. They are eaten in turn by larger predators such as large fish, seals, whales, walruses, and even polar bears, the top (apex) predator of the Arctic. The Arctic Ocean remained largely unexplored and unknown until the late 1800s. The
Coastal Arctic food web. Diagram courtesy of UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
presence of sea ice prevented exploration - so much so that makers of navigational charts simply left the area blank! The first nautical crossing was made in 1896, and the first surface crossing (via dogsled) in 1969. Today, climate change has caused a rapid decline in both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice. Summer sea ice has reduced by nearly 50 percent and ice that forms in winter is thinner and more susceptible to summer melting. Experts predict an ice-free Arctic Ocean as early as 2013, raising new commercial possibilities as
well as the potential for international competition and conflict over predicted deposits of oil, natural gas, and minerals.
Experts predict an ice-free Arctic Ocean as early as 2013
Finally, the declining sea ice means that less of the sun's energy is reflected back into space. The darker, open-ocean water absorbs more solar radiation, which is re-radiated
Arctic pelagic (open water) food web. Diagram courtesy of UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
Science Content Knowledge the Southern Ocean. On the whole, water of the Southern Ocean is colder, denser, and more saline than the waters of the surrounding oceans. Unlike the Arctic, which is fed by freshwater rivers, the Southern Ocean is fed by glacial melt and calving (breaking off of ice masses) from Antarctica's ice sheets. The ocean covers an area of 7,848,000 square miles and has an average depth between 13,000 and 16,000 feet. This makes it the fourth largest of earth's five major oceans.
Sea ice distribution in the Arctic and Antarctic polar ocean. Illustration courtesy of Hannes Grobe, Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5.
back into the atmosphere as heat. The increased temperatures then cause further melting, forming a positive feedback loop. At the opposite end of the earth is the Southern Ocean - another polar ocean, but one with very different characteristics. THE SOUTHERN OCEAN: WATER SURROUNDING LAND The Southern Ocean (also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean, or the South Polar Ocean) is defined as the waters south of 60 degrees S latitude. Unlike other oceans, the Southern Ocean is not bordered
or defined by land masses, and is not always named as a separate ocean in textbooks. However, oceanographers can distinguish between the characteristics of water in each of the world's ocean basins. They find that the ocean surrounding Antarctica is very different from the water in the nearby basins. Ocean currents play a large role in defining the Southern Ocean. The strong Antarctic Circumpolar Current circles the continent and effectively creates a barrier to the mixing of warmer water from the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans into
In winter, sea (or pack) ice forms on the ocean along the Antarctica coastline and extends out, almost doubling the size of the continent. The ice pack's size fluctuates from approximately 1 million square miles in March to over 7 million square miles in September. The formation of sea ice causes an increase in the salinity of the water, making it denser. The denser water sinks, forming a deep current that eventually finds its way to the lowest places in the ocean basins. This deepwater Southern Ocean Map. circulation Map courtesy of CIA, Wikimedia Commons.
Science Content Knowledge contributes to the general circulation of the oceans (and connects all the ocean basins). It takes decades to centuries for the water to travel the great distances involved. Temperature and elevation differences between the ice sheets of Antarctica and the open ocean cause the formation of fierce katabatic (downwardmoving) winds. Air currents and cyclonic storms travel eastward around the continent, mirroring the Antarctic Circumpolar
Current and isolating the continent from warmer air masses from the north. The wind and ocean currents circle Antarctica and create a spinning "vortex" that prevents other water and air from mixing into this region. Therefore, moist air rarely travels inland over the continent, and snowfall is minimal. Antarctica is actually a desert, receiving less than 10 inches water equivalent of precipitation a year.
The food web in the Ross Sea. Diagram courtesy of National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA).
The Southern Ocean and Antarctica are protected by a variety of agreements and treaties.
Once thought to be barren, the Southern Ocean is home to a large number of species. Expeditions are discovering many new species and current research estimates the number of named species at 7,500. Just as in the Arctic, phytoplankton form the base of the food web. These tiny, plantlike organisms drift through the ocean, using the sun's energy to produce their own food. Zooplankton feed on the phytoplankton. Krill, a shrimplike crustacean, is plentiful in Antarctic waters. It provides an important food source for penguins, whales, and other marine species. The Southern Ocean and Antarctica are protected by a variety of agreements and treaties. The International Whaling Commission prohibits commercial whaling, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals limits seal hunting, and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
Science Content Knowledge NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS: SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARDS The entire National Science Education Standards document can be read online or downloaded for free from the National Academies Press web site. The following excerpt was taken from Chapter 6. http://books.nap.edu/ openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103 A study of oceans aligns with the Life Science and Earth and Space Science content standards of the National Science Education Standards. K-4 Life Science • The Characteristics of Organisms • Organisms and their Environments
regulates fishing. Finally, the Antarctic Treaty protects the waters and land south of 60 degrees S latitude. Climate change is affecting the Southern Ocean in a number of ways. Climate change has increased calving and ice-sheet instability on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Rising temperatures have led to sea-ice decline, which has affected both the phytoplankton that serve as the base of Antarctic food webs and larger species that depend on the ice (Adelie penguins, Antarctic silverfish, and krill). Warming water also raises the potential for crabs and other predators to invade the Southern Ocean. These animals could reshape the existing food webs and potentially cause the elimination of some polar marine species. Penguins are competing more directly for food and breeding space, and the numbers and locations of penguin colonies are visibly shifting, as a result.
K-4 Earth and Space Science • Properties of Earth Materials 5-8 Life Science • Populations and Ecosystems 5-8 Earth and Space Science • Structure of the Earth System • Earth in the Solar System
Emperors6. Photo courtesy of Glenn Grant, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION Earth's Ocean http://www.windows.ucar.edu/ tour/link=/earth/Water/ ocean.html&edu=high Information about earth's ocean system. Includes links to further information on a variety of topics. Thermohaline Circulation: The Global Ocean Conveyor http://www.windows.ucar.edu/ tour/link=/earth/Water/ circulation1.html&edu=high An overview of how thermohaline circulation moves water through the world's ocean basins. Arctic Ocean Ecosystem: The Food Web http:// www.divediscover.whoi.edu/ arctic-ecosystem/index.html This interactive image provides information about a number of key species in the Arctic Ocean food web. Antarctic Ecosystem: Food Chain http:// www.divediscover.whoi.edu/ ecosystem/ecosystem.html Two interactive images provide information about species in the summer and winter marine ecosystems of the Southern Ocean.
Literacy Content Knowledge Active Participation: Ensuring Student Engagement By Tracey Allen and Clarissa Reeson We often hear both novice and veteran teachers complain that their students are not "involved" in lessons or classroom behavior problems are impeding learning. When we discuss these topics with teachers, we canâ€™t help but wonder what type of rapport the teachers have established with each and every student and,
more importantly, what active participation strategies they are implementing in the classroom to ensure student engagement. Teachers can use both covert and overt active engagement strategies to develop personal connections with their students and to help students develop an intrinsic desire to succeed. When all students are engaged in their own learning, behavior problems dissipate. Covert active engagement strategies are as their name implies: unable to be seen by the teacher, yet hold students accountable for their learning. During these types of activities students are imagining, thinking, picturing, remembering,
When all students are engaged in their own learning, behavior problems dissipate.
visualizing, reflecting, pondering, or even creating a mind movie. Although covert active participation strategies are not observable, they are essential to any given lesson because they give students time to "think" about questions elicited by the teacher before they are prompted to "perform" an overt activity.
Above: Teacher in Classroom. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto. Right: Male. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.
Literacy Content Knowledge
Teamwork. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.
Overt active engagement strategies are both observable and measurable by the classroom teacher. This type of active participation can also be used as an informal formative assessment because it immediately provides the teacher with feedback on the students' understanding of a given lesson. In this article, we've highlighted two active participation strategies that can be used in a reading lesson or be easily adapted to accommodate any content being taught: Brain Drain and Find the Question. BRAIN DRAIN Brain Drain is an activity that includes both overt and covert active participation. It is a strategy teachers can use to informally evaluate what the students understand before, during and/or after a unit of study. 10
Let's give it a try! After your students have read this month's Feature Story, "A Whale of an Ocean," have them think-mixpair-share. To do this, have students circulate around the classroom for a few seconds. When you call "pair," students pair up and share three new facts they learned from the article. Repeat the process a few times. Once the students have mixed and shared a couple of times, have them "drain their brain" of facts they learned from the article. This can be as simple as having students list the facts on paper in a limited amount of time. All students' understanding of the article will increase due to the covert and overt active participation activities they would have completed. Brain Drain can also give students the
opportunity to organize their thoughts, facts and ideas before they are required to perform on an assessment. FIND THE QUESTION The second active participation strategy we've chosen to highlight is called Find the Question. It is a great way to check for student understanding and get students involved and excited about their learning! Find the Question is very similar to a scavenger hunt. Students circulate around the classroom trying to match posted questions and answers. The questions are based on a recently read article and the goal is to find all of the correct matches. This type of overt active participation strategy will have your students up and moving in a productive manner and provide you with immediate
Literacy Content Knowledge feedback regarding their understanding of the topic. We’ve created a Find the Question activity to go along with this month's Feature Story, "A Whale of an Ocean," and have listed the set up below. Let's give it a try! • The teacher creates a list of questions and answers. • Each sheet of paper has an answer on top with a number and on the bottom of the paper is a question with a letter. • Students write the number of answers in the game on a
piece of paper before beginning to play. They will use this paper to record their matches of answers and questions. • Pages are hung up in the classroom or out on the playground. • To play the game, students go to a page, look at the answer on top, and search for the corresponding question. When they find the question, they place the letter of the question next to the number of the answer. • The game is over for the student when he or she has a letter next to every number.
• The teacher can quickly check for accuracy. • Students can play by themselves or with a partner. If working with a partner they must stay together while playing. Incorporating both covert and overt active participation activities in your lessons will hold your students accountable for their learning and provide you with an informal formative assessment regarding student understanding.
TEMPLATES Use these templates to incorporate Find the Question into your classroom! All the questions and answers have been prepared for you - print and you are ready to get started! An answer key is included for each grade level.
The Literacy set contains everything you need to use this activity in your class: a pdf version of this article, "A Whale of an Ocean" illustrated books, and the Find the Question templates.
Find the Question for "A Whale of an Ocean" (Grades 2-3)
Find the Question for "A Whale of an Ocean" (Grades 4-5)
http://onramp.nsdl.org/ eserv/onramp:17094/ Find_the_Question_23.pdf
http://onramp.nsdl.org/ eserv/onramp:17094/ Find_the_Question_45.pdf
http://rs1.contentclips.com/ ipy/fwd/ ipy_0905_set_lit_6029.html
Blue whale. Illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Feature Story: Whales Stories for Students (and Teachers)! Learn how to incorporate more informational text in your classroom. This nonfiction article is written for use with upperelementary students (grades 4-5). Issue 14 has modified versions available for students in grades K-1 and grades 2-3, or any student needing a simplified version. As always, consider the reading level and needs of your students when selecting a version for classroom use. At each grade level, the article is available in three forms. Printable pdf files allow you to print this story in either text or a foldable book format. In addition, a partnership with Content Clips has allowed us to create electronic versions of the articles. Your students can read along as they listen to the text - a wonderful way to support struggling readers!
A Whale of an Ocean By Stephen Whitt In the warm waters off the coast of Africa, a blue whale has just given birth. The baby is already twenty-six feet long and weighs six thousand pounds. She grows around eight pounds every hour. The mother weighs as much as twenty elephants. Yet she is starving. Why doesn't the mother blue whale grab a quick snack? Quite simply, there is no food for her here. She will survive on her thick coat of blubber. In a few months, she will take her calf to their feeding grounds at the bottom of the world, the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica. Before whale hunting nearly wiped them out, there were well over two hundred thousand blue
whales living off Antarctica. By the time the slaughter stopped, there were fewer than a thousand left. Why would any animal seek out the cold waters at the bottom of the world? The answer is simple: food. Blue whales are the largest animals on Earth. Yet they are adapted to eat just one kind of prey. That prey is a two-inch long animal called krill. Krill eat tiny living things called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton float at the surface of the Southern Ocean. They use the energy of sunlight to make food. The krill eat the phytoplankton, and the blue whales eat the krill. It's one of the simplest food chains on Earth. Blue whales are known as baleen whales. Instead of teeth, baleen whales have flexible bristles (called baleen) in their mouths. They use these bristles like a spaghetti strainer. When
Related activities provide suggestions for integrating this story with your science instruction. Finally, literacy templates help you integrate this story into your literacy instruction.
Blue whale with calf. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Krill. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Feature Story: Whales blue whales find a large school of krill, they gulp enormous mouthfuls of krill and water, then push the water back out with their tongues. The baleen traps the krill inside, just as a spaghetti strainer traps noodles. The whale then swallows the krill. Yum! But what makes these waters in the Antarctic so special that they were once home to such a huge concentration of the largest animals on Earth? There are two explanations. One is that the Earth is tilted, and the other is that cold water sinks. Most places on Earth have regular cycles of day and night all year. At the North and South Poles, however, the tilt of the Earth means that each pole has both days and nights that last for months. In the Antarctic summer there is plenty of sunlight for the phytoplankton to make their food. But there is sunlight elsewhere, too. What else
Baleen. Photo courtesy of David Monniaux, Wikimedia Commons.
makes the Southern Ocean special? The answer is cold water. Water is a little like air. Just as warmer air will rise above cooler air (think of a hot air balloon), warmer water rises above cooler water. In the tropics, where the Sun heats the water by day, warm water stays at the surface, while the colder water remains below. In that deep water are nutrients that could help phytoplankton grow. But there is no sunlight there. The phytoplankton cannot grow. At the surface, there's plenty of sunlight, but few nutrients. What's a phytoplankton to do? The Southern Ocean is different. It doesn't get as hot as the tropics. So even though there's a lot of sunlight, the water doesn't get warm. The cold water from the surface sinks down, pushing the deeper,
Phytoplankton. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
nutrient-rich water back up. This means there are both lots of sunlight and lots of nutrients in the same place. With plentiful sunlight and plentiful nutrients, the phytoplankton grow like crazy! The krill population explodes. The whales come to feast. Or they once did. In the days before whaling, the Southern Ocean was alive with great whales. Some approached one hundred feet in length. In a single generation, human beings hunted these giant animals to the very edge of extinction. Today, while the blue whale is protected from hunters, its numbers remain low. A blue whale mother has just one calf every two to three years. At that rate, it will take many years for the blue whales to recover. But in time, perhaps, the whales in their thousands will again dine on krill in their millions at the bottom of the world.
Blue Whale. Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries, Wikimedia Commons.
Feature Story: Whales RELATED ACTIVITIES How Big is a Blue Whale?
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/kids-enfants/sara-lep/ plan1_act2_e.htm Students practice making predictions and using measuring skills to visualize the size of a blue whale.
http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/76.html This short description combines two separate activities - simulations of whale blubber (using plastic bags and shortening) and the difference between baleen and toothed whales (using combs, toothbrushes, and pepper).
Planet Ocean: Blue Whale http://school.discoveryeducation.com/ schooladventures/planetocean/bluewhale.html Background information about the blue whale. Suitable for independent reading by upper elementary students; useful for teachers of primary students.
Baleen Whale Feeding Activity http://www.navmetoccom.navy.mil/educate/ neptune/lesson/physed/feeding.htm Kinesthetic activities help students understand how baleen whales feed (either filter feeding or gulp feeding). Blue whales are an example of "gulp" feeders.
Why Do Whales Make Sounds? http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/08/g35/ccwhalesounds.html Students will learn about the vocalizations of several whale species and the special calls of different populations of blue whales. They'll be asked to learn snippets of whale calls and to simulate whales trying to locate each other in the ocean. The students will conclude by drawing pictures of whales vocalizing and by writing captions explaining what their pictures show.
Blue Whale. Illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Whales Unit (Grades K-3) http://www.swbg-animals.org/just-for-teachers/ guides/pdf/whales-k-3.pdf
Whales Unit (Grades 4-8) http://www.swbg-animals.org/just-for-teachers/ guides/pdf/whales-4-8.pdf Interdisciplinary units focusing on whales' characteristics and adaptations.
By Jessica Fries-Gaither Oceans are mysterious places. Our experience with them is often limited to visits to the beach or the aquarium and to books, television shows, and movies. As a result, we sometimes know a bit about marine animals, waves, and tides, but less about currents and the oceans' role in driving our earth's climate. Our understanding is often incomplete or full of misconceptions. Ongoing work by the Ocean Literacy Network defines seven essential principles of ocean literacy (see right column). While these principles certainly represent important concepts, not all of them are fully accessible to elementary students. The Ocean Literacy Network's web site also makes available concept flow diagrams that may be helpful for K-12 teachers planning an ocean unit. A professor of oceanography documented 110 misconceptions about the oceans held by his students who were not science majors. In this
article, we've focused on a smaller number of misconceptions that might be held by elementary students. In addition, we've included ideas for formative assessment and suggestions for teaching correct scientific concepts and principles. NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS: SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARDS Assessing and targeting student misconceptions about oceans can meet the Life Science and Earth and Space Science Content Standards for grades K-4 and 5-8 of the National Science Education Standards. The entire document can be read online or downloaded for free from the National Academies Press web site, http://books.nap.edu/ openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103. Science Content Standards can be found in Chapter 6.
SEVEN ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF OCEAN LITERACY: http://oceanliteracy.wp. coexploration.org/
1. Earth has one big ocean with many features. 2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth. 3. The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate. 4. The ocean makes Earth habitable. 5. The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems. 6. The oceans and humans are inextricably linked. 7. The ocean is largely unexplored.
Common Misconceptions About Oceans
World ocean map. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Misconceptions MISCONCEPTIONS: OCEAN CHARACTERISTICS S t u d e n t s m ay thi nk ...
Inste ad o f th in kin g. ..
Oceans are shaped like a bowl.
While the continental shelf and continental slope may remind students of a bowl, the ocean floor is not flat, nor is it uniform. Canyons, mountains, and plains are all found on the sea floor.
Oceans are deepest in the middle.
Many of the oceans' deepest points are trenches, deep canyons that are formed at plate boundaries. These are not in the middle of oceans.
The sea floor is flat.
The sea floor has canyons, mountains and mountain ranges, and plains just as the land does. Many of these features are much larger than those found on land.
The bottom of the ocean is a big, sandy desert.
The ocean floor is rocky and uneven.
Coasts and coastlines do not change.
Coasts and coastlines change as a result of erosion. Sea-level rise may also affect them.
The ocean is blue because it reflects the color of the sky.
Sunlight is made up of all colors of the rainbow. When sunlight hits the ocean it is scattered by the water molecules. Blue light is scattered the most - which is why the ocean looks blue. However, floating plants, sediments, and algae may make the ocean appear to be green, yellow, or even red!
NBP0703_1. Photo courtesy of Patrick Rowe, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
Misconceptions MISCONCEPTIONS: SEA WATER S t u d e n t s m ay thi nk ...
Inste ad o f th in kin g. ..
Table salt + water = sea water
Sea water's "salt" is made of dissolved minerals from surface runoff (excess water from rain, snow or other sources that must flow over land).
Oceans have the same salinity everywhere.
Salinity can vary by location or season. In the Arctic and Southern Oceans, the formation of sea ice results in a layer of highly saline water.
MISCONCEPTIONS: GLOBAL SYSTEM S t u d e n t s m ay thi nk ...
Inste ad o f th in kin g. ..
Earth's oceans are separate and not connected.
Earth's oceans are all connected and part of one global ocean system.
Oceans are unrelated to weather.
Oceans play an important role in both climate and weather patterns.
MISCONCEPTIONS: OCEAN LIFE S t u d e n t s m ay thi nk ...
Inste ad o f th in kin g. ..
Nothing (or very little) lives in polar oceans.
Both the Arctic and Southern Oceans have surprisingly rich food webs. Many species are still undiscovered.
Coral reefs are found in all oceans.
Corals are typically found in tropical and subtropical waters. They have very specific needs in terms of temperature, water salinity, and light.
Nothing lives in the middle of the ocean.
Many organisms make up the food webs of the pelagic zone - the open water of the ocean. Animals and plankton also move throughout the water.
Misconceptions MISCONCEPTIONS: SEA ICE & ICEBERGS S t u d e n t s m ay thi nk ...
Inste a d o f th in kin g. ..
Melting sea ice causes (or will cause) sea level to rise.
Sea ice is already floating, so melting sea ice will not cause sea-level rise.
Icebergs are made of saltwater.
Most icebergs are made from calving glaciers. They are made of freshwater.
MISCONCEPTIONS: OCEAN CHARACTERISTICS S t u d e n t s m ay thi nk ... The ocean is infinite so pollution is not a problem.
Pollution is a problem everywhere. In the ocean, pollution can affect the entire food chain. Tiny creatures such as plankton take in pollutants, which are passed on to the larger animals that feed on them. The effects of the pollution are most visible in the top predators in a food web, as they end up with the highest level of pollutants from their prey.
The oceans' resources are limitless.
Like all other natural resources, those of the ocean are limited and must be conserved.
My personal actions don't impact the oceans.
Many of our actions eventually impact the oceans in terms of surface runoff and pollution.
PROBING FOR STUDENT UNDERSTANDING Many of these misconceptions are developmental in nature (due to elementary students' limited reasoning skills) or the result of lack of exposure to scientific 18
Inste ad of th in kin g .. .
content. Teachers may choose to assess student understanding simply through directed discussion and the use of leading questions. Student ideas about the ocean floor and the distribution of marine organisms
may also be assessed by having students draw and label a crosssection view of an ocean. An informal conversation about a student's drawing may provide great insight into his or her understanding.
Misconceptions "Hands-on Lessons and Activities about the Ocean" (see page 22). In addition, here are a few ideas for promoting correct scientific understanding among your students: • Make models of the seafloor - include ridges, mountain ranges, and canyons.
Underwater McMurdo Sound. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
TEACHING THE SCIENCE The Ocean Literacy Network has developed concept flow diagrams for each of its seven essential principles. Divided into K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade bands, these flow charts may be a helpful starting point for planning instruction. Ocean Literacy Concept Flow Diagrams http://www.coexploration.org/ oceanliteracy/ scopeandsequence/ publicreview/index.html These diagrams (pdf documents) show concepts that should be taught in four grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) to promote ocean literacy among all students. We've included many lesson plans and activities in our article
Create a Seafloor Diagram http:// www.navmetoccom.navy.mil/ educate/neptune/lesson/art/ seafloor.htm Students create a visual representation of seafloor features. • Use video clips to provide "first person" experiences. Sea Creatures http:// www.teachersdomain.org/ resource/ vtl07.la.ws.process.seacreat/ This video clip from the Teachers' Domain collection introduces students to unusual deep sea creatures.
A list of ocean-related children's literature. • Study runoff and how waste products can end up in the ocean. Oatmeal Runoff Activity http://www.watersheds.org/ waterfest/activity.htm Students use oatmeal to simulate the effects of runoff in streams. Teachers can extend this lesson to include the effects of runoff on oceans. • Study marine food webs to learn how pollution impacts the entire ecosystem. Ocean Pollution Unit Plan http://cosee-centralgom.org/seascholars/ lesson_plans/ocean %20pollution/contents1.html A 15-lesson unit for upper elementary students focusing on the various types of ocean pollution and how we can prevent it.
• Seek out children's literature that provides information about more than just the familiar ocean creatures. Ocean Books http:// www.navmetoccom.navy.mil/ educate/neptune/lesson/ language/books.htm
Ocean. Photo courtesy of Tiago Fioreze, Wikimedia Commons.
Across the Curriculum: Lessons As Big as the Ocean: Creating Murals By Jessica Fries-Gaither Need a way to help students better understand the immense size of oceans and marine species? Consider a mural! These large-scale art projects are engaging, allow for whole class involvement, and blend science, math, and art concepts. Murals can be created during an ocean unit - students add features and organisms as they learn about them. Or the mural can serve as a culminating activity and possibly even a form of assessment. In either case, this is typically a studentdirected activity - the students
These large-scale art projects are engaging, allow for whole class involvement, and blend science, math, and art concepts.
The Windy Whales. Photo courtesy of HAM guy, Flickr.
plan and create the mural based on their own research and understanding. While we tend to think of murals as large paintings on the sides of buildings, they don't have to be this large or elaborate. Students could create a "mural" on the playground using chalk (be sure to plan this for a week without rain!) or on large sheets of butcher paper using colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paint. Another alternative is to create a mural using a bed sheet and fabric paint or markers. What should be displayed in the mural? Subjects could range from a single marine species (similar to Wylandâ€™s murals of whales, called
Wyland. Photo courtesy of Muwumba, Flickr.
"Whaling Walls") to an entire seascape. Teachers might choose to have students focus on particular features or areas (hydrothermal vents, coral reefs, trenches, tide pools) or on a specific ocean. Small groups of students or classes might each create a mural depicting one of earth's five oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern) and representative species. Teachers might also choose to incorporate math concepts such as scale into the mural's creation, challenging students to research the actual sizes of various species and then to create a proportional representation. The size of the mural itself can be customized to the age and number of
Across the Curriculum: Lessons students, available work time, and space constraints.
understanding of the ocean and marine life!
Since the mural is, by its very nature, a cooperative project, teachers should take care to structure the activity to ensure participation and success. Individual and group assessment and accountability are key in any cooperative experience.
Ocean Murals http://idahoptv.org/ntti/ nttilessons/9/99johnson.htm The four- to six-day unit provides a way for elementary teachers to include other subjects, such as science and math, in their art lessons. Students will learn about the ocean and its inhabitants through exploration and research. They will demonstrate their understanding by creating a mural. The project encourages cooperative learning and the artistic, collaborative process of having the students paint the mural together and work on individual projects in small groups.
An important characteristic of a mural is that it is displayed for public viewing. This might be on the playground (in the case of a chalk mural) or in the hallway, classroom, or gymnasium. Students should have the opportunity to present their work to their peers and families. They will be proud to explain their mural and demonstrate their
Underwater Ocean Life Mural http:// www.navmetoccom.navy.mil/ educate/neptune/lesson/art/ mural.htm Students create a mural based on their science knowledge. Includes ideas for adding threedimensional figures to the mural.
Blue Ocean Mural, Wyland. Photo courtesy of Wonderlane, Flickr.
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears Podcasts Our podcast series provides you with a portable way to enjoy professional development at your convenience. We trek across the poles to find ways to help you teach science in your elementary classroom. Weâ€™ll also tackle common misconceptions your students might have about science, using stories, teaching activities, and the latest news related to the poles. You can listen to the podcast through your audio player or subscribe through iTunes and get the latest episode delivered to you for free. To see the entire list of episodes, go to: http:// beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/podcast/index.php. Episode 6: Deep Sea Thinking: Exploring the Worldâ€™s Ocean Most of our oceans still remain a mystery. Chris Massell Symons shares how scientists are exploring the depths to uncover their secrets. Also, find out about a fun song to "lure" your students into learning about our One Big Ocean. 21
Science & Literacy: Lessons Hands-on Lessons and Activities About Oceans By Jessica Fries-Gaither Oceans are a broad topic covering physical, earth and space, and life science concepts. Many elementary units focus exclusively on marine mammals, but there is much more to explore! We've divided our lessons into five categories: oceans, waves and currents, marine animals
and adaptations, ocean conservation, and ocean-related science, technology, and careers. Rather than pair each lesson or section with a literacy lesson, we've included broad suggestions for incorporating literacy into an ocean unit. Many of the science lessons also include literacy in the forms of reading, writing, research, or discussion. Finally, we've aligned all lessons to national science and literacy standards. You can read the entire National Science Education Standards online for free or register to download the free pdf. The content standards are found in Chapter 6, http://
OCEANS Under the Deep Blue Sea (Grades K-2) http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp? id=245 This lesson gives students the opportunity to explore oceans and ocean life. After locating the earth's major oceans on a world map, students will "dive underwater" to discover the plants and animals that live in the sea. Students will listen to stories and poems with ocean settings and learn about the forms of sea life featured in each. They can add their own artwork and text about ocean animals and plants to a cut-away ocean display. Finally, students will engage in various forms of creative writing about the ocean and ocean life. This lesson meets the Life Science and Earth and Space Science content standards of the National Science Education Standards. 22
books.nap.edu/openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103. Standards for the English Language Arts are available from the National Council of Teachers of English web site, http:// www.ncte.org/standards.
Southern right whale. Photo courtesy of Michael Catanzariti, Wikimedia Commons.
Why Is the Sea Salty? (Grades K-3) http://eduref.org/cgi-bin/printlessons.cgi/Virtual/ Lessons/Science/Geology/GLG0030.html Students simulate surface runoff with rock salt. They also observe that the salt is left behind when the water evaporates. This lesson meets the Earth and Space Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards. New Species Found! (Grades 3-5) http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx? id=10.2505/4/sc03_040_08_28 This article from the National Science Teachers Association journal Science and Children describes an oceanography unit as well as the performancebased assessment that followed it. Articles are free for members and $0.99 for nonmembers.
Science & Literacy: Lessons This lesson meets the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
This module meets the Physical Science and Earth and Space Science content standards of the National Science Education Standards.
WAVES AND CURRENTS
MARINE ANIMALS AND ADAPTATIONS
Introduction to Waves (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/07/gk2/wavesintro.html In this lesson, students experiment with creating waves of varying sizes and learn about wave height and wavelength.
For more lessons about marine animals, please see our articles about mammals and birds. Ecosystem lessons will help students understand the relationships between organisms, and between organisms and their environments.
This lesson meets the Earth and Space Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards. Wave Heights (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/07/g35/wavesheights.html In this lesson, students will use hands-on experimentation, maps, discussion, and drawings to learn about the parts of a wave and why wave heights vary.
Ocean Discovery (Grade Pre-K) http://www.swbg-animals.org/just-for-teachers/ guides/pdf/ocean-discovery-prek.pdf This interdisciplinary unit helps students learn about the ocean by exploring marine animal adaptations and diversity. This unit meets the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards.Â Into the Ocean (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ xpeditions/lessons/18/gk2/ doubiletocean.html This lesson introduces students to different ocean depths (shore/tide pools, open ocean, abyss) and to the ways in which animals have adapted to live at different depths.
This lesson meets the Earth and Space Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards. Waves. Photo courtesy of Amada44, Wikimedia Commons. Ducks in the Flow (Grades 3-5) http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/ teacher_resources/ocean_education/ currents_main.html Students learn about ocean surface currents through a story and hands-on exploration.
This lesson meets the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
The Water Column: Where Do Ocean Animals Belong? (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/08/g35/seascolumn.html In this lesson, students will learn about three broad ocean habitats (the intertidal zone, the open ocean, and the abyss) and find out about some specific 23
Science & Literacy: Lessons adaptations animals have made in each of these regions. This lesson meets the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards. Pair these two lessons with the following activities: Hold On or Go with the Flow (Grades K-2) http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/lc/ activities/lyrics_rocksong.asp?bhcp=1 Students can listen and sing along to this song about how animals survive in the rough-andtumble world of the rocky shore. Dive into the Deep (Grades K-5) http:// www.montereybayaquarium.org/ lc/activities/dive_deep.asp Students can create an undersea scene and discover what a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) sees as it dives deep in Monterey Canyon.Â
In this lesson, students learn about hydrothermal vents and uniquely adapted animals that live near them. They create aquarium exhibits showcasing some of these animals and their special adaptations. This lesson meets the Life Science and Earth and Space Science content standards of the National Science Education Standards.Â Fish Aren't Afraid of the Dark! (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/08/gk2/seasfish.html In this lesson, students will be introduced to the concept of bioluminescence and, through pictures, collages, and stories, will consider how animals benefit from having their own light sources. This lesson meets the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
Lighting Up the Sea (Grades 3-5) http:// SeaWorld Science Activity Guide www.nationalgeographic.com/ (Grades K-4) xpeditions/lessons/08/g35/ http://www.swbg-animals.org/justseaslighting.html for-teachers/guides/pdf/scienceStudents will explore the Jellyfish. Photo courtesy of Anastasia Shesterinina, activity-k-4.pdf adaptation of bioluminescence by Wikimedia Commons. Hands-on lessons help students learn conducting a simulation and about marine animals and the ecology of the viewing pictures of bioluminescent marine animals ocean. on the web. These lessons meet the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards. We're in Hot Water Now: Hydrothermal Vents (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/07/g35/seasvents.html
This lesson meets the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards. Pair the two lessons above with the following activity: Lanternfish Sticks (Grades K-5) http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/lc/ activities/lanternfish_sticks.asp
Science & Literacy: Lessons In this activity, students use glow-in-the-dark paint to create their own bioluminescent fish.Â Pilot Whales' Place in the Ocean (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/08/g35/ccseaswhale.html Students learn about pilot whales' sociability and bonding, consider how research tools such as the Crittercam might help scientists learn more about their social behaviors, and formulate research questions. This lesson meets the Life Science and Science and Technology content standards of the National Science Education Standards. Pair this lesson with the following activity: Build a Whale of a Crittercam http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ xpeditions/activities/18/crittercam.html In this activity, students design a video camera and determine how to best attach it to a humpback whale.Â Are Sharks as Dangerous as We Think They Are? (Grades 3-5) http:// www.nationalgeographic.com/ xpeditions/lessons/14/g35/ dangershark.html In this lesson, students conduct research about sharks and give oral presentations.
Learn some tips for creating your own shark cartoons and comics.
OCEAN CONSERVATION Taking Care of Our Oceans (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/14/gk2/seascare.html In this lesson, students will consider why so many people live near a coast and learn about the impacts of this trend on ocean animals. Students will make posters to educate coastal residents and visitors about human impacts on marine life. This lesson meets the Science in Personal and Social Perspectives content standards of the National Science Education Standards. Oil Pollution (Grades 2-5) http://eduref.org/cgi-bin/printlessons.cgi/Virtual/ Lessons/Science/Environmental_Education/ ENV0206.html Students will conduct a hands-on activity to learn why oil pollution is harmful to animals.
Using Photography to Help Save the Oceans (Grades 3-5) http:// www.nationalgeographic.com/ xpeditions/lessons/18/g35/ doubiletphoto.html In this lesson, students will learn about the importance of ocean Shark. Photo courtesy of Jeff Kubina, conservation. They will think about Wikimedia Commons. This lesson meets the Life how photography can help people Science content standard of understand the impact humans the National Science Education Standards. are having on the oceans. They will look at animals that are endangered because of human behavior, Pair this lesson with the following activity: and choose one to study in depth. Finally, students Shark School of Art (Grades 3-5) will draw the animal they choose and describe why http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/lc/ it is in peril and how it can be protected. activities/sharks_cartooning.asp
Science & Literacy: Lessons This lesson meets the Science in Personal and Social Perspectives content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
OCEAN-RELATED SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND CAREERS Echoes: What Animals Can Teach Scientists (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/18/gk2/ballardechoes.html In this lesson, students will learn how scientists use sonar to investigate the depths of the ocean. They will learn that some animals have an unusual way of figuring out what is around them in the dark. They will study the echolocation capabilities of bats and think about how ocean scientists can learn from these animals to develop deepsea exploration techniques. This lesson meets the Life Science and Science and Technology content standards of the National Science Education Standards.
This lesson meets the History and Nature of Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards. Ocean Exploration Museum (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ xpeditions/lessons/18/g35/ ballardmuseum.html In this lesson, students will become familiar with some of the latest discoveries in ocean research, including hydrothermal vents and historical shipwrecks. Students will complete their research by creating a "museum" exhibit about ocean exploration and by suggesting questions for future research.
Hydrothermal Vent. Photo courtesy of P. Rona, Wikimedia Commons.
Submarines: The Classroom Fleet (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/13/gk2/k19subs.html This lesson introduces students to the submarine as a means of travel under the sea, and to the challenges humans face when traveling underwater. This lesson meets the Science and Technology content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
Who Sees the Seas as Important? (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/06/gk2/thys.html In this lesson, students learn about some people who think the ocean is so important that they have devoted their lives to studying it and its inhabitants.
This lesson meets the Science and Technology content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
Underwater Study: Marine Biology (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/06/g35/thys.html In this lesson, students learn about marine biology as a career, the types of plants and animals marine biologists study, and how technology helps them in their work. This lesson meets the History and Nature of Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
Science & Literacy: Lessons Why is Oceanography Important? (Grades 3-5) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/18/g35/seasoceanography.html In this lesson, students learn about some of the important discoveries that oceanographers have made and some areas that they are still investigating. This lesson meets the History and Nature of Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards.
INCORPORATING LITERACY Many of the science lessons involve literacy in some form â€“ reading, research, or writing. However, you might want to consider one of these ideas to further integrate literacy and science instruction.
Ferocious Fighting Fish: An Ocean Unit Exploring Beginning Word Sounds (Grades K-2) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=828 Students explore alliteration (repeated beginning word sounds) in texts then compose their own class book to explore figurative language in their writing. The lesson includes a revision worksheet to apply the technique to another piece of writing. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12. Integrating Literacy into a Study of the Earth's Surface (Grades 3-5) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=899 In this lesson students learn about the features of the earth's bodies of water using a variety of literacy genres, culminating with a Readers Theatre performance.
As Slippery as an Eel: An Ocean Unit Exploring Simile and Metaphor (Grades K-2) http://readwritethink.org/ lessons/lesson_view.asp? id=832 After reading ocean-themed Earth. Photo courtesy of NASA, Wikimedia Commons. books, students examine the ways that the books use simile and metaphor, creating their own names and definitions of these figures of speech. Using the picture books as framing texts, students then revise a piece of their own writing to increase its use of figurative language.
This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12.
This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12.
Teaching & Assessment Strategies Performance Assessments: A Marine Example By Jessica Fries-Gaither Assessment of student learning is an important component of education. While multiple-choice tests are common, they do not often test higher-level thinking skills and may not accurately represent student understanding. Performance assessments, also known as alternative or authentic assessments, require students to actively demonstrate what they know as they perform a task. These types of assessment may be a more valid indicator of students' knowledge and abilities. While performance assessments are commonly used in the area of writing, they also have great potential in content areas such as science, social studies, and mathematics. In "New Species Found!" an article from the National Science Teachers Association journal Science and Children, Deborah Reinemann and Jolie Thomas describe a performance assessment that concludes a fourth-grade oceanography unit. As described in the article, the 14-lesson unit provides an 28
introduction to the oceans and hands-on investigations of salinity, density, and waves. Students learn about currents and tides through reading and compare land formations on land and on the sea floor. Finally, through video and tide pool centers, students learn about marine organisms and their adaptations. The performance task is introduced at the end of the unit. Students take on the role of a marine biologist who has discovered a new organism. They create a model of the organism and a written profile that includes its name, habitat, and adaptations. A skeleton paragraph supports students who have difficulty writing cohesive paragraphs. Students' work is assessed with a rubric. Students share their new species in a mock marine biology convention. Students discuss informed questions that marine biologist might ask of each other, then tour the displays to learn about the new "discoveries." This interactive session is also used to evaluate students' understanding. Like other performance assessment tasks, this project allows students to think creatively and demonstrate their understanding in ways that multiple-choice assessments do
not. Furthermore, this particular task allows students to take on the role of marine biologists, which can provide a better understanding of the nature of science.
Performance assessments […] may be a more valid indicator of students’ knowledge and abilities.
New Species Found! http://www.nsta.org/store/ product_detail.aspx? id=10.2505/4/sc03_040_08_28 This article from the National Science Teachers Association journal Science and Children describes a fourth-grade oceanography unit and performance assessment. The article is free for NSTA members and $0.99 for nonmembers. Implementing Performance Assessment in the Classroom http://pareonline.net/ getvn.asp?v=6&n=2 This article provides an overview of performance assessment and guidelines for constructing performance assessment tasks.
Off The Bookshelf: Polar Oceans Polar Oceans: Virtual Bookshelf By Julie Moran
With freezing temperatures, unpredictable weather, and icy water, polar oceans are some of the most precarious environments on earth, but that doesn't make them uninhabitable! Students will learn about the different oceans of the world and the mammals that call them home through the books
listed on this virtual bookshelf. We've divided the bookshelf into three sections: oceans, marine species, and penguins and polar bears. As always, we feature mostly nonfiction text for its ability to increase science content knowledge and build vocabulary.
Recommended Books: Oceans W Is for Waves: An Ocean Alphabet. Marie and Roland Smith. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-3. From Atlantis to Zooplankton, this book is an introduction to our world's oceans and ocean life. Great for all ages!
Oceans. Sandy Sepehri. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5. Did you know that about threefourths of our planet is covered by an immense body of salt water called the World Ocean? Continents and islands divide this ocean into seven major divisions. Learn these and other interesting facts from this book!
The Arctic Ocean. Anne Ylvisaker. 2003. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-4. This book introduces the earth's smallest ocean with information about its depth, seafloor, climate, animals, and plants. Use as a read-aloud for younger students and independent reading for older students.
The Antarctic Ocean. Anne Ylvisaker. 2003. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-4. This resource for early learners has information about the southernmost ocean and provides an activity for measuring the coldness of ice. Pair with The Arctic Ocean for a compare/contrast activity.
Off The Bookshelf: Polar Oceans Southern Ocean. Kate A. Furlong. 2003. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grade 5 and up. The Southern Ocean has not always been considered a separate ocean. In 2000 the International Hydrographic Organization officially established the Southern Ocean's boundaries. This book provides information about the newly delineated ocean, which surrounds the continent of Antarctica. Best for older students and those needing extra challenge.
Arctic Ocean. John F. Prevost. 2003. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grade 5 and up. This book surveys the origin, geological borders, climate, water, plant and animal life, and economic and ecological aspects of the Arctic Ocean. Best for older students and those needing extra challenge. Pair with Southern Ocean for a compare/contrast activity.
Recommended Books: Marine Species Narwhal Whales Up Close. Jody Sullivan Rake. 2009. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 1-3. Did you know that narwhal whales are called "unicorns of the sea" and have tusks that can grow up to nine feet long? This book presents an up-close look at narwhal whales, including their body features, habitat, and life cycle. Beluga Whales Up Close. Jody Sullivan Rake. 2009. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 1-3. Did you know that beluga whales are often called "sea canaries" because of their ability to mimic noises they hear? They have even been known to imitate the sounds of motorboats! This introductory book includes photographs of this fascinating mammal. 30
The Migration of a Whale. Tanya Kant. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 1-3. With collage-style illustrations, this book is a great introduction to whales, their life cycles, and their migration patterns. Super Swimmers: Whales, Dolphins, and Other Mammals of the Sea. Caroline Arnold. 2007. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5. Realistic watercolors present a variety of sea mammals. This introduction to marine mammals begins with whales, dolphins, and porpoises and then goes on to discuss seals, sea lions, walruses, manatees, dugongs, sea otters, and polar bears.
Off The Bookshelf: Polar Oceans Seals. Tom Jackson. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. Seals belong to a group of animals called pinnipeds, which means "fin-footed." The seal's flippers aren't much use on land but are excellent for swimming. Learn interesting facts about seals from this book. Killer Whales. John Malam. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. What do killer whales eat? How do killer whales hunt? How can they survive in extreme cold? Do
killer whales deserve their scary name? Readers can find answers to their questions in this book from the Scary Creatures series. Sea Secrets: Tiny Clues to a Big Mystery. Mary M. Cerullo and Beth E. Simmons. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-5. Students are engaged in mysterious changes happening to seabirds, whales, and penguins. They learn about the LongTerm Ecological Research (LTER) Network and how this effort has helped scientists understand the effect of warming ocean water on marine food webs. Download lesson plans and other materials from the LTER web site.
Recommended Books: Penguins & Polar Bears Solo. Paul Geraghty. 1995. Fiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-2. This is a story about emperor penguins. In the dark Antarctic winter, newborn Solo is cared for by both parents until her father does not return from hunting fish. Then her mother must go hunting or they will starve. Solo is left alone to face the dangers of a predatory bird, deep crevices, and possible starvation. Penguins. Amy-Jane Beer. 2009. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. Penguins depend on the ocean for their food. The smaller species of penguins eat mostly krill and larger penguins eat squid and fish. Photographs and interesting text will capture the imagination and curiosity of older learners.
Polar Bears. Jolyon Goddard. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. Did you know that polar bears evolved from an isolated group of brown bears about 200,000 years ago? They adapted to survive in the Arctic. Learn more fascinating facts about polar bears from this book designed for older learners. Polar Bear Alert! Debora Pearson. 2007. Nonfiction. Recommended ages: Grades 2-3. In this book, readers visit Churchill, Manitoba, which is called the Polar Bear Capital of the World, and learn about the threats posed to these animals.
About Us Beyond Penguins and Polar BearsÂ is an online professional development magazine for elementary teachers. It prepares teachers to integrate high-quality science instruction with literacy teaching. The magazine is available for free at http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org. Other project features include a companion blog (http://expertvoices.nsdl.org/polar) about polar news and research and a social networking site (http://beyondpenguins.ning.com) for elementary teachers to communicate and collaborate with colleagues across the country and around the world. Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024 and is produced by an interdisciplinary team from Ohio State University (OSU), College of Education and Human Ecology; the Ohio Resource Center (ORC) for Mathematics, Science, and Reading; the Byrd Polar Research Center; COSI (Center for Science and Industry) Columbus; the Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL); and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Core Integration team at Cornell University and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).
At the ends of the Earth lie the Arctic and Southern Oceans - mysterious, largely unexplored, yet vital in driving global circulation patter...
Published on May 11, 2010
At the ends of the Earth lie the Arctic and Southern Oceans - mysterious, largely unexplored, yet vital in driving global circulation patter...