Sample Lesson Plans

Below are selected samples from each of our Units of our Marine CSI books. The links will open as PDF files.

Unit 1: Aquatic Ecosystem Investigations

Grades K - 2:

  • Craft Me an Ecosystem - Great artistic STEAM lesson! This is an introduction to many different aquatic ecosystems and the species who inhabit them. Compare freshwater habitats to saltwater and see the similarities and differences in how these species can survive. NGSS: K-ESS 3-1; 1-SL 1-1; 2-LS 4-1; 2-ESS 2-3

Grades 3 - 5:

  • Hydro-Bangles - Another great STEAM lesson, this one using beads to represent the components of the water cycle. This is a watershed-wide lesson, taking us from the mountains to the sea, up to the clouds, and underground. NGSS: 5-ESS 2-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • Sink or Swim - Water has many properties including density. Freshwater and saltwater have different densities, as does warm and cold water, and so they create the great ocean current conveyor belt around the entire globe. In this experiment, the right amount of salt will change the density of water. NGSS: MS-LS 1-3; MS-ES 2-6

Grades 9 - 12:

  • Whatever Floats Your Boat - Take a closer look at the properties of water density, as well as the properties of objects to stay buoyant or sink when placed in water. Using salt to change the properties, this experiment will demonstrate the differences between floating in fresh and salt water environments. NGSS: HS-ESS 2-5

Unit 2: Trophic Dynamics

Grades K - 2:

  • You Seek, I'll Hide - The simple game of hide-and-seek, but with a food web twist! Predators will hunt for food in either a daytime or nighttime setting. Prey will use key features of their habitats in their hiding techniques. This is great way to learn about adaptation and survival of the fittest. NGSS: K-LS 1-1; 1-LS 1-1; 2-LS 4-1

Grades 3 - 5:

  • Food Webs: Egyptian Style - In a food web, there are producers, consumers, and decomposers. At each level of the food web, organisms must consume a certain amount of food in order to survive. They need energy to grow, find food, reproduce, and sometimes migrate long distances. This energy flows up the food web and the best way to represent this energy flow is through a pyramid. NGSS: 3-LS 4-3; 5-LS 2-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • Trawling for Shrimp - If you were a shrimp trawler, how would you safely take only shrimp species from the ocean without harming any others? This is a STEM lesson that demonstrates the best way to use bycatch reduction devices, which are places on trawl nets to reduce the number of unwanted species from being taken from the sea. NGSS: MS-LS 2-4; MS-ESS 3-4; MS-ETS 1-4

Grades 9 - 12:

  • Catch Me If You Can - Studying populations of species is how government agencies can regulate important national fisheries. Trying to count each individual in a populations of schooling fish is a difficult task, so scientists use the catch and release program to estimate their numbers. This activity shows exact how that process works to keep populations from getting to low. NGSS: HS-LS 2-2; HS-LS 2-7; HS-LS 4-5; HS-LS 4-6

 

Unit 3: Barrier Island Breakdown

Grades K - 2:

  • Beach House Gone - Coastal storms bring higher tides, stronger surges, and strong winds. These factors can be detrimental to an area that is highly developed, like a barrier island. This experiment shows how natural beaches can withstand some of the strongest storms, while developed islands have some of the most devastating damage. NGSS: K-ESS 3-2; K-ESS 3-3; 2-LS 4-1; 2-ESS 2-1

Grades 3 - 5:

  • My Sand is Fine, How About Yours? - Some sand grains are finer than others and are made of different materials. Some come from the mountains, great boulders weathered away by wind and rain, while others come from once-living organisms, their shells broken by waves and storms. Sands from around the world can be differentiated and discussed with this activity. NGSS: 4-ESS 2-1; 5-ESS 2-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • Beat the Surge - Living on a barrier island means having to deal with annual storms. With those storms comes heavy rain and flooding, high winds, and surges of higher tides. This STEM activity shows us how strong our homes and other structures have to be to withstand these coastal storms. NGSS: MS-LS 2-4; MS-ESS 2-6; MS-ESS 3-5; MS-ETS 1-3

Grades 9 - 12:

  • "New Jersification" - Take a look at an aerial view of the New Jersey coastline and you will see barrier islands with a peculiar zig-zag shape. By adding permanent structures to their coast, they have altered the natural migration processes of these islands. This experiment is their coastline on a smaller scale and demonstrates how their barrier islands are affected by normal tides and storm surges. NGSS: HS-LS 2-7; HS-ESS 3-1; HS-ESS 3-4

Unit 4: Salt Marsh Savvy

Grades K - 2:

  • The Great Terrapin Race - Predators and prey come in all shapes and sizes and this outdoor activity is a race to find food and stay alive. The Diamondback terrapin is the featured species in this active play game of survival. NGSS: K-ESS 3-1; K-ESS 3-3; 1-LS 1-1; 2-LS4-1

Grades 3 - 5:

  • No Crabbing Around - Horseshoe crabs have been around for over 500,000 years, yet their bodies have not changed much since then. Learning about what makes them so unique and so important to other species, this craft activity demonstrates the similarities and differences to other species of the salt marsh ecosystem. NGSS: 3-LS 4-2; 4-LS 1-1; 5-LS 2-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • A Bed of Biodiversity - Forests aren't the only ecosystem which contain high biodiversity; eelgrass beds of the salt marsh do as well. In this comparative study, build a diorama of organism for each ecosystem to compare and contract the two. Predator/ prey relationships are also demonstrated in this STEAM activity. NGSS: MS-LS 2-1; MS-LS 2-2

Grades 9 - 12:

  • Can You Tolerate It? - Salt tolerant plants, or halophilic, can survive in a salt marsh environment because of their ability to withstand periods of high salt intake on incoming tides. In this experiment, three trials with three different amounts of soil will test different plant species on their salt tolerance. NGSS: HS-LS 1-3; HS-LS 2-6; HS-LS 4-2; HS-LS 4-5

Unit 5: Mighty Migrations

Grades K-2:

  • Sea Turtle Survival - There are currently seven species of sea turtles in the world, all of which are endangere. Each stage of a sea turtle's life cycle poses some sort of threat, from natural to human. In this interactive game, explore how sea turtles are resilient and how they are susceptible to these threats. NGSS: K-ESS 3-3; 2-LS 4-1

Grades 3 - 5:

  • We Eat it Too - Two of the seven species of sea turtles eat exactly the same food we do! We're taking a look at how these two species, the Loggerhead and Kemp's Ridley, survive even when their food, clams and crabs, are two of the largest fisheries in the United States. NGSS: 3-LS 4-2; 3-LS 4-3; 3-LS 4-4; 4-ESS 4-1; 5-LS 2-1; 5-ESS 3-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • Good Tourist, Bad Tourist - A great STEAM activity, we're taking a look at how tourism and tourist behavior can hinder species survival in the salt marsh ecosystem. Create a family-friendly "good tourist" brochure or comic book to ensure humans have a great time visiting, while wildlife stays safe. NGSS: MS-ESS 3-3; MS-ETS 1-1

Grades 9 - 12:

  • A Whale of a Tale - Scrimshaw is an old seafaring and fishing art form that is still alive today. The only difference is that whaling is no longer worldwide and is highly regulated. This STEAM activity draws attention to the days of old when whale teeth used to be carved into beautiful seascapes. NGSS: HS-LS 2-7; HS-LS 2-8

Unit 6: Things Are Heating Up: A Look at Oceanography and Climatology

Grades K - 2:

  • S'More Heat - Solar energy is one of many ways we can get electricity without having to burn harmful fossil fuels or deal with the heavy emissions of gasoline. Here, we're crafting our very own solar ovens (that work!) to make s'mores! This is a deliciously fun STEAM activity to explore how climate change is affecting Earth's surface and species. NGSS: K-ESS 2-1; K-ESS 3-3; 2-LS 4-1

Grades 3 - 5:

  • An Unsettled Matter - Salt marshes are clear-water ecosystems with submerged vegetation. The bottom substrate is usually sand. In this experiment, take a look at sedimentation, when water erodes away soils from the land and washes it into nearby lagoons, and how this affects the survival of these key species of plants. NGSS: 3-LS 4-4; 4-ESS 2-1; 5-ESS 2-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • Climate Change Cause and Effect - Our climate is changing and as the surface of Earth heats up, it is affecting all ecosystems globally. In this metaphorical game, we'll use some well-known items to describe the causes of climate change, as well as the effects they have on the environment, and discuss ways to slow the process. NGSS: MS-ESS 2-6; MS-ESS 3-1; MS-ESS 3-4; MS-ESS 3-5

Grades 9 - 12:

  • Debating the Energy Source - There are several ways we can save energy in our homes right now, but this debate takes a look at alternative energy on a larger scale, from our homes to our communities, to our counties and states. Let's discuss how these alternatives can help keep our bills down every month and help keep the environment healthy! NGSS: HS-LS 2-7; HS-ESS 3-2; HS-ESS 3-3; HS- ESS 3-4

Unit 7: Let's Take it Outside!

Grades K - 2:

  • Tracks in the Sand - Sometimes you can't see or hear if an animal is nearby, but you know they live in that ecosystem because of the tracks they leave behind. Some species provide this physical evidence in sand, soil, or mud, and it's to the special investigator to decipher who they belong to. This outdoor activity is great for the little explorer in all of us! NGSS: K-ESS 3-1; 1-LS 1-1; 1-LS 3-1; 2-LS 4-1

Grades 3 - 5:

  • Signs of Life - This outdoor scavenger hunt is great for the adventurer who wants to see and hear and touch and smell everything around them. On a local hike, teams will see who can be first to identify as many signs of life within a designated wetlands habitat. A discussion continues the activity to develop ways in which humans can lessen their impact on the environment. NGSS: 3-LS 3-1; 3-LS 2-1; 3-LS 4-3; 3-LS 4-4; 4-LS 1-1; 5-LS 2-1; 5-ESS 2-1; 5-ESS 2-2; 5-ESS 3-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • How Clean is Your Water? - Water quality is vital to any aquatic habitat. If groundwater and freshwater sources become contaminated, wildlife, including humans, cannot survive or become increasingly sick. Using simple test kits, checking the water quality of local waterways creates citizen scientists. Not all clear water is actually clean water, so it's important to see what's in our water. NGSS: MS-ESS 3-3; MS-ETS 1-1

Grades 9 - 12:

  • Nature Journaling: Not Your Usual Lab Notebook - Keeping a nature journal is a great way to keep track of environmental changes over time. As a citizen scientist, journaling helps to see trends in migration, water quality, or species populations. This STEAM activity takes a step-by-step look at putting together a journal and keeping one over time. NGSS: HS-LS 2-6; HS-LS 2-8; HS-ESS 3-4

Unit 8: From Here to Marine Biologist and Other Marine Careers

Grades K - 2:

  • Panoramic Hydrosphere - Utilizing the ancient Chinese art of Gyotaku, or fish printing, this STEAM activity creates and lively and colorful interpretation of aquatic ecosystems. You don't have to be an artist to understand how the morphological features of some species help them survive underwater and gives them an advantage to find food. NGSS: K-ESS 3-1; 1-LS 1-1; 1-LS 3-1; 2-LS 4-1

Grades 3 - 5:

  • Oil and Animals Don't Mix - Oil spills are detrimental to marine life and aquatic ecosystems, as oil is a heavy liquid that can clog gills, pores, or stop fur from working properly. Once on an organism, it can weigh them down and keep them from having buoyancy, causing mass drownings. If it gets into their bodies, it coats organs, shutting them down. In this experiment, create a mock oil spill and try to clean it up so it doesn't spread too quickly. NGSS: 3-LS 1-1; 3-LS 4-4; 4-LS 1-1; 5-PS 3-1

Grades 6 - 8:

  • Ecosystem Survivor - Every organism within an ecosystem needs certain things to survive, including shelter, food, and water. This interactive game takes things to whole new level of survival of the fittest. Predators, prey, living, and non-living factor all play a part in one organism's survival to the next round. NGSS: MS-LS 2-1; MS-LS 2-4; MS-ESS 3-4

Grades 9 - 12:

  • Lights! Camera! Educate! - Educational videos are available through many avenues online. Now, utilizing Smartphones and apps, creating documentaries is even easier. This STEAM activity demonstrates how to become the next marine educator or cinematographer. NGSS: HS-LS 2-7; HS-LS 4-6; HS-ESS 2-7

  • c-facebook

© 2018 by Marine CSI. Proudly created with Wix.com

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now