Videos of Swimming Animals
These videos are embedded links to YouTube, so I'm afraid they are not of use to WCPSS. I'm trying to find a work-around.
Instructional Web Pages
Who is responsible for the condition of our environment, individuals or big corporations? Can we blame some faceless "them" and absolve ourselves of responsibility? The exercises in my Us Vs Them webpage help answer these questions.
Lesson Plans and Printable Goodies
A number of folks have expressed interest in this trash sorting exercise to help kids understand the lifetimes of marine debris. I like to combine this exercise with a discussion of the impact of debris on marine animals. A piece of cellophane in a bottle of water makes a pretty convincing "jellyfish", and there are plenty of pictures of turtles eating plastic bags online. Consider how much you want to scare your audience; I've chosen to show the kids the contents of albatross stomachs, but not seals being decapitated by fishing line.
If you ask a bunch of kids what they can do to help the ocean, most of them will say "don't litter at the beach!" I created this Save the Ocean Game to help them see the breadth of ways we affect the ocean. Generally, I let each kid draw a card, then read it out to the whole group. I solicit the group's opinion on whether the kid should step forward or back. I like to have the kids make posters about helping the ocean; most recently I had them choose which card from the race they wanted to illustrate.
There are several activities in which students clean up oil spills (or try to). In honor of the recent spill, I added a map of the Gulf of Mexico and some sand for the beach to my self contained oil spill kit.
The first principle of ocean literacy is "one large ocean covers most of Earth". These explorations with an inflatable globe are suitable for all elementary school levels, and probably for middle and high school as well.
Within our kids' lifetime, the Arctic Ice sheet may disappear, and sea level may rise by a meter. These phenomena, although both caused by global warming, are not causally connected. This lesson plan and cut-and-paste worksheet help younger students understand the difference. For middle school students, this powerpoint presentation may be helpful.