Topic: World Oceans Day

Learning Outcomes

  • to raise awareness of the importance of our oceans
  • to perform basic calculations to calculate the number of breaths pupils take in a day
  • to collaborate with others and work as part of a team
  • to explain the importance of a healthy ocean
  • identify ways humans can positively influence ocean health
  • to educate others on the importance of ocean health

 

Introduction

  1. Discuss the earth’s oxygen resources – where does the oxygen we breathe come from? (70% approx. comes from marine plants).  
  2. Teach phytoplankton’s role in oxygen production
  3. Explore ways in which the human race can protect the earth’s oceans.
  4. Explain that Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, a National Geographic Explorer, has estimated that Prochlorococcus (a type of phytoplankton) provides the oxygen for one in every five breaths we take.
  5. Carry out an experiment to aid understanding. (see worksheet – link below)

Development

  1. Students calculate how many of the breaths they take each day come from the phytoplankton, Prochlorococcus. Students use data collection and calculations to understand how the health of the ocean affects their lives.
  2. Pupils collect and analyse data (breath calculations)
  3. Ingroups ask children to assign roles: timer, breather, and data recorder. Calculate how many breaths they take in 30 seconds
  4. After all groups have collected and recorded their data, have students independently calculate how many breaths they take in one minute, one hour, and one day. Finally, have pupils calculate the number of breaths that come from the phytoplankton, Prochlorococcus. Discuss results and link back to humans need for healthy oceans in our world.

Plenary

  1. Discuss the importance of phytoplankton and ways humans can positively influence phytoplankton levels and overall ocean health.
  2. Why is it important that we protect our oceans and the plankton that live in them? What are some ways we can protect the ocean?
  3. Explore and record ways in which the human race can protect the earth’s oceans.
  4. Create posters promoting ocean health – display in school and on school website

 

Other Resources for teaching this topic

Showcase learning on school website (increase the school community’s awareness of this issue). Display images on interactive whiteboard of how oceans are being polluted and how humans are working to protect our oceans.

Resources needed:

  1. Stopwatch (1 per group)
  2. Breath calculations worksheet (link here: https://media.nationalgeographic.org/assets/file/Breath-Calculations.pdf)
  3. Poster card – to create & display their own ocean health slogans (e.g. Save the Phytoplankton—Breathe More Air!)
  4. Image of the Carbon Cycle (for discussion)

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/activity/save-the-plankton-breathe-freely/

http://www.worldoceansday.org/about

 

Categories: Lesson Plan