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  Seaweek 1997    

Theme: Celebrate the Sea: Explore the deep

Seaweek '97 coordinator: Lin Fairlie

Understanding the theme

By exploring the deep, marine education considers the little know and explored ecosystems and inhabitants of the the deep sea. The deepest parts of the ocean (about 11 000 metres) are deeper than the highest parts of the land.

From one kilometre deep, the ocean becomes an environment of total darkness. Food is scarce, there is no plant life, creatures are found at only 1% abundance of that of the surface, it is cold and the pressure is enormous.

More background information
- Life And Living In The Deep Sea

Much is still to be discovered in the deep sea. In 1976 'vent fields' were discovered by the Alvin submersible off the Galapagos Islands. These deep sea vents, created by volcanic activity, were found to contain amazing communities of marine species evolved around bacteria that can produce food in the absence of light.

More is said to be known about the moon than the deep sea, therefore this is an important theme which sparks imagination and interest in the ocean environment. By developing a theme around the deep sea you can also explore:

Black Devil

 Brittle Star     
  • Diversity and adaptation
  • Currents and climate
  • Marine resources, mining and exploration
  • Australia's international responsibilities as a signatory to a number of treaties and agreements concerning birds, mammals, fishing and pollution etc
  • Fishing, fishing methods and managing fish stocks
  • Pollution, ballast water, ocean dumping, radioactive, toxic and industrial waste
  • Maritime law

Exploring the theme - event ideas

'Taking a deep dive into the dramatic arts'
- A Story telling session at the Victorian Gould League Open Day


Children watched a story told with puppets and then participated in the creation of a giant ocean mural.


Two adults presented a story about the adventures of a young sperm whale, through word and puppet movements. The storytellers set the scene by describing the whale calf's early years and some sperm whale facts.


In the story the Orange Roughy was the
whale's guide down into the deep waters

The whale's dive was used to introduce physical aspects of the deepsea as well as a focus on a variety of animals in the different sections of the water. Finally the calf gets to the bottom and is suddenly surprised by a giant squid who chases her up until the water turns lighter again and she leaps out into the air sucking in a big gasp of air.

The puppets were made from recycled junk.

After the story telling session, the children were asked to work on the creation of a giant ocean mural. Their drawings built up a picture of the life in the ocean levels - sunny, twilight and black as night.


This educational activity promoted and used the creative arts as a learning medium.

Creating an ocean mural

Language, art and imagination are very effective teaching tools to explore education concepts or themes. With creative arts you can turn the serious business of marine education into a fun activity.

Deep diving Sperm whales both evoke mysteries of the deep and make a perfect guide to the deeper regions of the oceans. After the story session the children could consolidate what they had learnt by working on the ocean mural.

See the program of events for Seaweek '97.

Search site


Understanding the theme

Exploring the theme - event ideas

Extending the theme - classroom activities

Personal Action

Further Resources

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