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Science - Secondary Curriculum Science - Earth Science
Lesson Plans

Standard 4

Students will understand the dynamics of the hydrosphere.

Objective 3

Analyze the physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of the oceans and the flow of energy through the oceans.
  • Adaptations to Life in Cold Water
    Students will investigate animal adaptations to a cold environment, specifically how they keep warm.
  • El Nino in a Bowl
    Students model formation of an El Nino current in a pie pan.
  • Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
    Students will navigate through a web site in order to learn about the Exxon Valdez oil spill and its environmental impacts.
  • Nike Shoes Wash Up
    Students will read about a shipping accident that spilled thousands of Nike shoes into the ocean and how they were tracked around beaches of the world. They will chart the results and predict how ocean currents move.
  • Ocean Fair
    Students will research a biotic organism from the ocean and create a tri-fold board or poster presentation about it. They will learn about its place in its ecosystem and how abiotic factors in the ocean such as salinity, depth, tides and water temperature affect the organism.
  • Ocean Webquest
    Students will read from a website about the 5 zones of the oceans and the changes that occur as depth increases. They will answer questions as they read. They will also create two ocean food webs using Inspirations software to model the flow of energy through an ocean ecosystem.
  • Oil Spill!
    Students will create an "oil spill" in a pan and experiment with the best ways to clean it. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify at least two successful methods of oil spill cleanup and explain how an oil spill affects the environment.
  • Sea Water Lab
    This lab is a "station" lab where students move from one small experiment to another. There are seven stations dealing with properties of sea water.
  • The Tragedy in the Commons
    Students model an ocean ecosystem and see how humans affect the number of fish over a period of years. Students must work as a class to find an equitable solution for all the countries represented.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Milo  Maughan and see the Science - Secondary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer  Throndsen.

These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.