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

Ocean Ecology
Year Level: 7-9

Sorting Out: Sample Activities

Biological Diversity
The following table shows animal and plant phyla, the classes included within them and the characteristics of organisms that distinguish them from non-living matter. Encourage students to source as much information to complete the table below:

(Green algae)

(Red algae)

(Brown algae)

Class Gastropoda
Class Cephalopoda

Class Crustacea

Class Chondrichthyes
Class Osteichthyes
Class Reptilia
Class Aves
Class Mammalia


Evolution, natural selection and variation

The characteristics listed in the previous table are those traditionally ascribed to living organisms. However, it does not include an important feature of living organisms, namely their potential to change or evolve over generations.

  • Ask the question “Are there any homogeneous environments in nature?”
  • Challenge students to offer reasons for their replies and examples of ‘why or why not.’
  • Invite students to consider a vertical section of the water column in and around a tropical reef ecosystem. Make the statement: “Environments contain within them gradients of conditions or of available resources.” Ask students to elaborate on what this statement means and to consider the question: “How could condition gradients and resource availability stimulate evolutionary processes or variations within species or communities?”

Invite the class to form pairs or small groups to prepare either a play, a multi-media presentation, a Power Point presentation or a report, that conveys detailed information about the major condition and/or resource factors that have stimulated evolutionary processes or variations within a specific marine species or community.

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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