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Topic(s):

Elementary (K-4), Lithosphere, Oceans

 

Scenario:

Earth's Oceans

Five Earth oceans with different names.
None alike and none the same.
Some are warm and some cold.
Can you find one on a globe?

Now take your finger and go around.
Follow the ocean between the ground.
Keep on going just for fun.
Are there many oceans or just one?

Stretching far from shore to shore.
Past the beach, across the ocean floor.
To tell you would take too much time.
But would you at least read this rhyme
About Earth's ocean land?


Ocean Land

Under Earth's oceans there is land.
Not just on beaches or made of sand.
Mountains, valleys, plains and more.
What else is down there off the shore?

If you think that ocean land.
Is like the land on which you stand.
You'd be right in some ways yes.
But is it different more or less?

If you walk along a beach.
Places with ocean land you reach.
You might see sea shells in the sand.
Do dead things' shells become ocean land?

If you took a glass-bottomed boat.
Or did some snorkeling while you float.
You might see rocks, reefs and sand.
But that coral? Now, is that land?

If you wore some scuba gear.
Went down out past the beach that's near.
You might find the bottom drops.
How far down does it go before it stops?

What if you went down in a diving bell.
And your trip went very well.
Could you see a mountain range?
Volcanoes, too? Would that seem strange?

If you could stand on some ocean floor.
In a special suit or something more.
You might feel it move and shake.
Could this quake a tsunami make?

If you took a deep sea submarine.
Down to cold, dark places rarely seen.
You might see a canyon grand.
Did it form like those on dry land?

If you sent a robo sub with an arm.
Down to depths that could do you harm.
You might see some lava floes.
Could that be how ocean floor grows?

If you could drain the oceans dry.
And see ocean land against the sky.
You'd see things that might make you wish.
Why wasn't I born more like a fish?


An Ocean of a Problem?
Some say there is a change out there.
That could change Earth's ocean air.
How could that change Earth's ocean land?
And the land on which you stand?


As you learn about Earth's ocean land, part of Earth's lithosphere, think about these Essential Questions:
  • How is ocean land the like land in your neighborhood? How is it different?
  • What are some special features of ocean land?
  • Why is ocean land important to ocean living things?
  • How is ocean land connected to ocean air and water?
  • Why is ocean land important to living things on dry land?
  • How could changes in ocean air change ocean and dry land?

 

Date: 8/3/2009

Scenario Images:

Drain the Oceans
The Earth is called the "water planet" because so much of it is coverd by ocean water. What would ocean land look like if you could drain away all the ocean water? Watch this video from National Geographic Channel's "Drain the Oceans" and find out. Image credit: NASA



Sand
Sand is ocean land that you can walk on. Did you know that the sand where you live might have been ocean land at one time? Did you know that the sand looks different on different beaches around the world? Look at sand from beaches of the world. Image: clipart.com



Coral Reefs
A coral reef as seen from an airplane. Like sandy beaches, coral reefs are ocean land that you can reach. You can snorkel or scuba dive and see these colorful ocean habitats. Corals are living things, but as they grow their stony skeletons build up and become ocean land. One of Earth's largest coral reefs is off the coast of Australia. Learn more about Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Image: clipart.com



Crand Canyon
Is this ocean land? No. It's the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is nearly 300 miles long and about 1 mile from rim to rim. Off the ocast of California is a canyon, the Monterey Canyon, about the same size but you can't see it. It's at the bottom of the ocean. Use this interactive map to compare the Monterey Canyon to the Grand Canyon. Click on the other map points and see how ocean land features stack up against features on dry land. Image: clipart.com



Pillow Lava
Pillow lava on the ocean floor. Even though the ocean may look calm and flat on the surface, on the ocean floor there are volcanoes and places where molten rock, lava, pours out onto the ocean bottom. Watch this movie of pillow lava forming off the coast of Hawaii. Image credit: Submarine of Fire NOAA/OER



Resources:

 

Earth Science Basics (Cycle A)
Need information about Earth's cycles, systems and processes? These resources are for you:

  • Visit an Earth Science Museum. Use the elevator to explore the different floors and learn about Earth's systems, cycles, dinosaurs and more. For kids and teachers.
  • K-4 Earth Science Modules. Four online modules for K-4 students and teachers that include information, games and hands-on investigations exploring biomes, weather and climate, remote sensing and Earth's systems.

 

Ocean Land (Cycle A)
The following sites have information about the physical features of the oceans and more:


 

Learn About Ocean Land for Teachers (Cycle B)


  • NOAA Learning Objects provide in-depth information and more about Earth's ocean. Select: Plate Tectonics, Mid-Ocean Ridges, Subduction Zones, and Seamounts to learn about the processes and features that shape Earth's ocean basins.
  • Tsunami Interactive Learn all about tsunamis. This site takes awhile to load.

 

Design You Own Investigation for Teachers (Cycle C)
The following sites have information, lesson plans and more about ocean topics:

  • NOAA Acitivty Book celebrating 200 years of NOAA research in pdf format.
  • NOAA Ocean Service Education page with links to ocean activity books and investigations.
  • Science Net links Has lessons, tools and resources for standards-based teaching.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Teachers' Place
  • Disney's Oceans Complete with an 8 page activity and 42 page teachers' guide for your classroom.
  • This issue of Beyond Polar Bears and Penguins online magazine explores Polar Oceans. Includes misconceptions, activities, recommended books and more. Additional archived issues are available here.
  • This American Library Association site has links to all kinds of great websites for kids.

 

Digital Library for Earth System Science (Cycle C)
The ultimate resource for Earth Science lesson plans, investigations and publications.

 

Looking for Interactives (Cycle C)
Here are a couple interactive sites that allow students to explore ocean topics.


 

Sample Investigations:

 

Crunch the Crust (Cycle A)
Earth's land, the hard rock shell on its surface, is called the crust. Any part of the Earth's crust that rises above the oceans is called continental crust. Any part of the Earth's crust that is covered by the oceans is called oceanic crust. If you could drain the ocean water away you would be able to see the oceanic crust, the land, under the oceans.

Earth is sometimes called the "water planet" because so much of its crust covered with water. Most of that water is in Earth's oceans. How much of the Earth's crust is covered by the oceans? Do this investigation and see how good you are at estimating the amount of oceanic crust under Earth's oceans.

Crunch the Crust for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Ocean Sand: What's in that Land? (Cycle A)
Sand is ocean land that you can touch, walk on or play with. You can find sand on a beach, on the ocean floor and in your neighborhood. Want to learn more about ocean sand? Do this investigation and see what you can find out about sand.

Ocean Sand for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Sand Dune Erosion in a Box (Cycle A)
Ever gone back to your favorite beach after a hurricane or a severe storm only to find that the dunes you loved to climb are gone? Do this investigation to explore how wind can change the landscape of a sandy beach.

Sand Erosion in a Box for Teachers Notes: This investigation could be conducted as a demonstration. Do it outdoors especially if students are conducting the investigation. Safety glasses are recommended to keep sand from getting into students' eyes. Substitute the dyed sand in the investigation with colored craft sand available at craft stores.
Difficulty: beginner

 

Learn About Ocean Land (Cycle B)
Work with your team to find answers to questions of your own and these Essential Questions about Earth's ocean land:

  • How is ocean land the like land in your neighborhood? How is it different?
  • What are some special features of ocean land?
  • Why is ocean land important to ocean living things?
  • How is ocean land connected to ocean air and water?
  • Why is ocean land important to living things on dry land?
  • How could changes in ocean air change ocean and dry land?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Design an Ocean Land Investigation (Cycle C)
Design an investigation of your own that will help students ask and seek answers to questions like these about Earth's ocean land:

  • How is ocean land the like land in your neighborhood? How is it different?
  • What are some special features of ocean land?
  • Why is ocean land important to ocean living things?
  • How is ocean land connected to ocean air and water?
  • Why is ocean land important to living things on dry land?
  • How could changes in ocean air change ocean and dry land?

Difficulty: beginner

 

 

Standards:

  • Science
    National Science Education Standards - Science Content Standards http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/overview.html#content The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education.
    • K-12 UNIFYING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
      The understandings and abilities associated with the following concepts and processes need to be developed throughout a student's educational experiences:
      • Systems, order, and organization
      • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • Constancy, change, and measurement
      • Evolution and equilibrium
      • Form and function
    • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
      • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • Physical Science (Std B)
        • Properties of objects and materials
      • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
        • Properties of earth materials
      • Science and Technology (Std E)
        • Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans
      • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Std F)
        • Changes in environments
      • History and Nature of Science (Std G)
        • Science as a human endeavor
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