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Seaweek 2010: Oceans of Life - ours to explore; ours to restore

Ocean Ecology
Year Level: 7-9

Finding out: sample activities

Ask students to form groups to discuss and record why they think it is important to find out about the ocean’s ecosystem, its inhabitants and their interrelationships. Ask these questions:

  1. Propose a hypothesis that links the adaptations of organisms to both the biotic and abiotic components of their surroundings.
  2. What types of interactions and associations occur between living and non-living components of the ocean’s ecosystem?
  3. How could introduced species affect the ocean?
  4. Ask students to provide specific examples of adaptations resulting from biological evolution within marine species.
  5. In what ways does industrialised human society affect the ocean?
  6. Do you think the ocean can be used sustainably? What things could or should be done to ensure its sustainability?

Groups report back and record their findings. Students compare ideas, identifying similarities and differences and discuss differing opinions.

Check out websites to find out what sorts of things you can see and explore in oceans that are geographically located near your home and school. Students use visual libraries on websites to gain information about the ecology of the ocean of interest and students construct a concept map showing the range of plants and animals found there.

Small group investigations

Students work in groups, each group is to locate relevant information using relevant websites.
Students view the You Tube or movies and documentaries about ‘Ocean Habitats’ and:

  • Observe footage and hypothesise about which type of ocean community or combination of communities is being showcased.
  • Draw simple sketches of communities seen;
  • Outline different components, both biotic and abiotic, that influence the community;
  • Analyse the interconnectedness of both biotic and abiotic components within communities. Predict the results or effects of having an imbalance of any one of these components.

View additional movies and classify animals and plants into specific groups. Encourage students to draw up a table and list in it the common names, phyla, class and distinguishing features of as many different plants and animals as possible.

Common Name Phylum Class Distinguishing Features




Tuning In: Sample Activities
Preparing to find out: Sample Activities
Finding out: sample activities
Sorting Out: Sample Activities
Going Further: Sample Activities
Making Connections: Sample Activities
Taking Action: Sample Activities
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Marine and Atmospheric Research


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