In this 4-5 day investigation, students begin their discovery of aquatic environments, and start to notice that water is all around them, in their neighborhoods, backyards, oceans, rivers, ponds, and creeks. They take a first look at "Our Big Blue Planet" with a globe game, inspect jars of water and land to think about the differences, and act as outdoor "Water Detectives" to explore and map water on a walk near their school. They finish up the investigation by taking a closer look to see living things in their jars of water.
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This 5-6 day investigation challenges students to think about how sea ice is changing and the effects of a warming climate on sea level in Alaska. In Activity 1A: Arctic Sea Ice Data, students graph data on sea ice extent over time. In Activity 1B: Melting Sea Ice and Sea Level, students participate in a lab activity that simulates the melting of sea ice, and create a flip book of images of the change in sea ice extent over time. Activity 1C: Temperature and Sea Level Rise demonstrates the thermal expansion of seawater as one process that could contribute to sea level rise.
In this 4-6 day investigation, students identify specific traits of a habitat. They start with a familiar local habitat and then focus on aquatic habitats. Children are guided through an initial field session, a follow-up exploration of water habitats, and discussions of aquatic habitats and the animals that live in them. They use an OWL chart to track initial thinking, useful questions, and new learning, and they use science notebooks to document thinking and discoveries as well as questions and specific comparisons and contrasts. A quick assessment check using a cut and glue animal will give teachers an idea of initial understandings of habitat.
In this 3-4 day lesson, students begin with a discussion and activity centered around seven traditional reasons that people explore. Then they go on an imaginary journey to the unknown. Once the journey is over, the students are given clues to discover that their trip was in a manned submersible in the Bering Sea. They learn about a researcher who is actually studying the Bering Sea in a submarine, then watch and discuss a video featuring underwater explorer Robert Ballard. As a final activity in this investigation, students research past and present ocean explorers and share their discoveries, inventions, or research.
In this lesson, students develop an understanding of interconnections among the ocean, humans, and other living things through a case study of harvesting bidarki (katy chitons) in the Alaska Native Villages of Port Graham and Nanwalek. Students reflect on their own connections to the ocean.
In this 4-5 day lesson, students begin by reading a mystery story about sea otters in the Aleutian Islands, and examining an accompanying population graph. They identify information that they will need to help them solve the missing sea otter mystery, and explore ecological relationships in the sea otter environment using web sites, video clips, and readings. Information is shared with the class and/or summarized on clue cards, and students then create murals showing the sea otter/kelp bed ecosystem.
In this 5-7 day investigation, students learn about vehicles used to explore the sea. They then learn about two deep sea canyons in the Bering Sea and the variety of life found in these canyons. Finally, students create a mural of one of the canyons, and participate in a sampling simulation to determine life in the canyon.
In this activity, students discuss how methods of fishing have changed, then play a game to explore the idea of sustainable fishing practice. They simulate fishery activity using increasingly sophisticated technology, in different ocean areas. As students progress through the fishing seasons, they will likely overfish their part of the ocean and will have to migrate to other places in the ocean to meet their basic needs. Most groups will eventually create a total crash of fish stocks in the ocean. After discussing the game and its meaning, students will propose new rules for the game, to make fishing sustainable.
In this 9-11 day investigation, students explore ways that changing climate can affect physical and biological conditions in rivers, the ocean, and other aquatic ecosystems. Students analyze â€œrepeat photographsâ€ (taken from the same vantage point at different times) of Alaska glaciers to observe the effects of retreating glaciers on the landscape and conduct a simulation to investigate the effect of melting glaciers on sea level. Students also simulate increasing stream flows that result from melting glaciers and observe the effects on the landscape and water quality. Then, students construct a mini Secchi disk to investigate transparency and the effects of increased turbidity from the increased flows as glaciers melt on aquatic and marine ecosystems. Finally, they play a board game to review the effects of retreating glaciers and increasing stream flows and erosion on river, coastal, and ocean ecosystems.
In this 8-11 day investigation, children begin to identify features of specific plants and animals, and to sort them into groups. They describe properties of shells or other objects, and use those characteristics to sort them in various ways. They focus on specific animals and practice observing and describing their characteristics, and are introduced to groups of invertebrates that are sorted according to their features. To review and reinforce what they have learned, the students play a board game that also helps them practice math skills.
In this lesson, students select an animal to research from a list of teacher-chosen freshwater animals, tide pool creatures, or ocean mammals. They learn that an animal lives within a specific habitat because it is able to meet its needs for food, water, and shelter. Students will develop the understanding that they can find information about specific animals and habitats in books, on the Internet, and from their own local environment and that they can learn from scientists and other experts.
In this 5-day investigation, students develop an understanding that large ocean circulations mimic major weather patterns. They begin by creating and observing wave and riffle patterns and motions of objects in a tub. They plot possible current patterns on their map and organize meteorological data to determine how well wind patterns match their predictions. After a lecture/discussion to learn more about currents and weather patterns, they role-play shipping captains who must consider wind and current patterns to find the quickest route from Seattle to Anchorage.
In this lesson, students investigate salmon life cycle stages and their relationship to parts of the watershed. They use cards to generate questions and ideas, and work cooperatively to research the salmonâ€™s life journey through a watershed, answer the questions and gather evidence for their claims. They share and discuss their findings with the class, and demonstrate their knowledge by making posters.ars of water.
In this inquiry-based lesson, students set up experiments to test their predictions about what brine shrimp eggs need to hatch and to grow. They make daily observations, ask questions, and record and share information.
In this 4-5 day lesson, students examine hypotheses and evidence related to the causes of the sea otter decline. They narrow down the hypotheses to one, then play a food web game to help them better understand relationships in the kelp bed ecosystem, and predict the outcome of an experiment to test the killer whale predation hypothesis. They put together some of the big ideas about interactions in ecosystems to come up with plausible explanations for the sea otter mystery. Finally, they evaluate whether the hypothesis has been proven. They reflect on their learning by diagramming the sea otterâ€™s food web and predicting what might happen if parts of the ecosystem changed.
In this 6-9 day investigation, children assemble simple puzzles to learn more about aquatic animals and their life cycles. They look closely at the parts of a small aquatic animal with a listening and drawing activity, then learn to describe and explain the things in aquatic environments by making mini-books, a class book, and a large class mural.
In this 6-7 day investigation, students begin with an introduction to seamounts that are present in the Gulf of Alaska. They learn how seamounts were formed and look at a bathymetric map of a seamount. In Activity 3A, students explore sea floor mapping techniques as they participate in an activity to create a map of a sea feature they have molded out of clay. In Activity 3B, students watch a short animated presentation, "Who cares about Sea Floor Mapping?" then create a model of a seamount found in Alaska. They use pre-sonar techniques to collect data and create a graph of their seamount using Excel.
In this investigation, students will work in small groups to research a current issue related to human interaction with the ocean, using internet and library resources. They will communicate the facts about their issues on a poster, participate in a poster viewing session, and ask questions about the information presented on the other posters created by members of their class.
In this 9-12 day investigation, children begin by continuing to learn about the wide variety of aquatic plants and animals in their region. Each child then chooses a special plant or animal to research, depict, and share with the class. They go on to learn more about their special species and others as they explore life cycles and tide-related behaviors, and end the investigation by making and sharing plant and animal riddles.
In this 7-10 day investigation, students develop an understanding of waves and tides and their motion through discussion, demonstration, and hands-on investigation. They demonstrate wave motion in containers, and create marigrams to show local tide data and to compare tide patterns from different parts of the world. They use their knowledge to consider whether waves or tides could account for the movement of the bath toys to their final locations.