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Ocean Odyssey Educators Guide

the image cover for the Ocean Odyssey Educators Guide

Ocean Odyssey Educators Guide cover image

The educators guide includes 8 elementary school level lessons, inspired by topics from the IMAX film Ocean Odyssey, and many NOAA mission critical areas. Watching the film is not required to carry out any of these lessons, but may enhance students’ learning experience of the topics presented in these activities. Educators can view a special extended preview of the film at https://www.oceanodysseyfilm.com/preview. Scroll down to see and download the individual lessons in the guide, or download the entire guide here.

The lessons in this guide have been aligned to major national education standards, including:

Titles or summaries of standards are at the beginning of each lesson. To access the full standards referenced, see links in the appendix.

These lessons progress for use from younger to older grade bands (2-5), but all contain aspects and resources which may be adapted for all grade bands.

The challenges facing the ocean and its inhabitants cross geographic and ethnic boundaries. Understanding the ocean and its ecosystems is essential to comprehending and protecting this planet. This is among NOAA’s most important missions, to better understand and protect our ocean and coasts, their ecosystems, and the communities that rely on them.

We must all be stewards for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable ocean. The first step in that role is education. We hope the activities in this guide, and films like Ocean Odyssey which inspired them will help lead you and your students to learn more about our ocean planet, its myriad of wonders beneath the waves, and work to maintain healthy ecosystems that are resilient in the face of change.

You can learn more about Ocean Literacy and how to integrate it into your curriculum at: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/literacy.html

These are all the lessons appearing in the Ocean Odyssey Educators Guide along with brief descriptions. You may download each of them individually by clicking on their titles, or download the entire Educators Guide as a whole.

  • Lesson 1 - Ocean Dwellers: Students learn about types of plants and animals that live in the ocean including what they look like, where they live, and where they get their energy.
  • Lesson 2 - Earth’s Water Moves: Students use an investigation to see one way that water moves around the world then consider why these currents are important for living things.
  • Lesson 3 - Lives of Humpback Whales: Students compare life milestones that are similar and different between humans and humpback whales, and use evidence to explain how certain behaviors help humpbacks survive.
  • Lesson 4 - Ocean currents: Students explore the role of the ocean in climate and investigate how hot and cold temperatures help to move water around the world.
  • Lesson 5 - Whale Migration: Students learn how scientists identify and track humpback whales during their seasonal migrations data and maps, and how whales know where to go on their journeys.
  • Lesson 6 - Fishing for Solutions: Students learn about the strengths and limitations of different fishing methods, and learn how a community in American Samoa uses responsible and sustainable fishing methods to support the people who live there.
  • Lesson 7 - Food Matters: Students learn about basic fish anatomy, use data to determine what happens to the food that an animal eats, consider what happens when an animal eats microplastics, and discuss ways to keep plastics out of the ocean.
  • Lesson 8 - Cycles in the Ocean: Students use a directed drawing to develop a model of how water moves around the world, and learn how one major ocean current system may be slowing down.