Content

Elementary resources: Life science

A "Key" to Alaskan Fish IDoffsite link
5th - 7th grade  •  Links to standards

Students examine pictures of ten Alaskan fish species and design a taxonomic (dichotomous) key that can be used to identify them.


An Ocean of Energy
4th - 6th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students learn about energy pyramids as a way to understand the energetic relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ocean ecosystem. 


Be a Whale Researcher
2nd - 4th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students study humpback whale behaviors and fluke patterns. They learn how to tell the difference between observations and inferences and practice using inquiry and observation skills.


Deep-water Coral: Lophelia pertusa
3rd - 5th grade  •  Links to standards

Students are introduced to the diversity of life in the ocean, with a focus on corals and other invertebrates.


Elementary Oyster Unit
K - 12th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students learn about oysters in this extensive K-12 learning sequence. Each grade-specific lesson targets a specific area in the study of oysters.


Fish Fetch - Fisheries Survey Activity
K - 8th grade

Students learn how to use sampling to estimate the number of fish in a population.


Help Nemo Find His Home!offsite link
3rd - 8th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students learn about how ocean acidification affects the olfactory senses of clownfish.


Let's Compare and Contrast Whales
K - 2nd grade  •  Links to standards

Students research a whale species then compare and contrast their whale with another using a Venn diagram. 


Manatee Curriculumoffsite link
2nd - 4th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students learn about the biology and ecology of manatees, how humans impact them, and what we can do to protect them. 


Mystery of the Dead Whale - A Forensic Marine Science Unit
3rd - 12th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

In this short collection of lessons, the classroom is turned into a NOAA ship to solve the mystery of a dead whale. Students collect tissue samples, analyze data, and test real fish for contamination.


Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators
4th - 8th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Uses data

Students learn about ocean trash, cleanup, and prevention in this flexible collection of lessons.  


Marine Osteoporosisoffsite link
3rd - 8th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students will explore and test how ocean acidification affects different organisms, including humans. Students investigate causes of increased ocean acidity and discuss ways to minimize the impact.


Marine Snow
4th - 6th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students learn how “marine snow,” a shower of organic material falling into the deep ocean, forms, how it is distributed, and the role it plays in the marine ecosystem. 


Northern Fur Seal Curriculum
K - 6th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students learn about northern fur seal natural history, their importance to Unangam (Aleut) culture, and the sustainability of their population.


Octopus Adaptationsoffsite link
3rd - 5th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

Students learn about an octopus’s camouflage and anatomy as adaptations to its environment. 


Sargassum Hide-and-Seek
3rd - 5th grade  •  Links to standards

Students will learn the role that sargassum, a type of brown algae, plays in the marine ecosystem and research organisms that live in it. 


Sea Turtle Curriculum
3rd - 6th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Links to standards

In this collection of lessons, students learn about sea turtles and their classification, biology, adaptations, life cycle, tracking, and conservation.


Shark Chalk Walk
3rd - 5th grade  •  Links to standards

Students research different shark species. They identify sharks by observing their anatomy and looking at the type of prey that the shark eats.


Starfish Adaptations - Peer Taught
2nd - 5th grade  •  Links to standards

Students observe, explore, dissect, and compare sea stars to understand which particular traits make them successful in their habitat.


Summer Fishing Trip
3rd - 5th grade  •  Links to standards

Students embark on a fishing trip to learn about fish and field research. Students learn about fish characteristics, habitats, and adaptations, and explore why and how scientists study fish in the wild.


Where in the World Does My Seafood Come From?
4th - 8th grade  •  Links to standards

Students research the ecosystems, food webs, and historical population levels of the fish found in their local grocery store and present what they learned to the class.


Winged Ambassadorsoffsite link
5th - 12th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Uses data  •  Links to standards

In this collection of five lessons, students learn about albatrosses, their migration patterns, and how they are impacted by marine debris.  


Zooplankton Migration Patternsoffsite link
1st - 12th grade  •  Teacher guide  •  Uses data  •  Links to standards

Students learn how behavioral adaptations of zooplankton (migration patterns) increase their chances of survival.