Earth Day: Under the Sea Exploration Lessons

Earth Day: Under the Sea Exploration Lessons. On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was held. The day was set aside for everyone to think about way to take care of our Earth and its resources.

Quotes of the Day:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. Genesis 1:9

If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. Ecclesiastes 11:3

Earth Day: Under the Sea Exploration Lessons


Antarctic - the south polar region.

Arctic - the north polar region.

endangered - threatened with extinction by human-made or natural changes in the environment.

marine mammal - a mammal adapted to live in the marine environment and dependent on the ocean for food.

EUPHOTIC ZONE - From the surface to about 50 meters below Has enough light for photosynthesis to take place Plankton and seaweed are only found here

DYSPHOTIC ZONE -  From about 50 to 1000 meters below the surface Enough light for vision but not enough for photosynthesis Amount of light decreases with depth

APHOTIC ZONE -  More than 1000 meters under the surface No light Animal life is rare and produces own  light through bioluminescence

abyssal zone — deepest part of the seafloor, below 2,000 meters.

aphotic — depths of the ocean below which no light penetrates.

bathyal zone — region of the seafloor from the shelf edge (200m) to the start of the abyssal zone (2,000m).

continental shelf — the shallow bottom just offshore of most continents between water's edge and a sharp drop off where the bottom plunges steeply.

DVD Suggestions: Planet Ocean

Directed by highly acclaimed photographer, filmmaker and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand (Home) and narrated by actor Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Life As We Know It), Planet Ocean is a cinematic adventure that invites viewers of all ages to change the way they look at the ocean and appreciate its greatest natural mystery. 

Through dazzling aerial and underwater imagery captured in extreme geographical conditions worldwide, Planet Ocean delivers an unprecedented journey into the least known regions of our planet. The stunning documentary aims to captivate as well as provide understanding of humankind's relationship to the ocean and stress the urgency of making sustainable change.  Brought to life with dynamic and relatable narration, this groundbreaking film can be enjoyed by the entire family.

  • Blu-ray™ disc unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring perfect hi-def picture and perfect hi-def sound. 
  • DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing the movie in more places, both at home and while away.

Website Suggestions:

Ocean Surface Topography from Space-Education

NOAA’s National Ocean Service has Discovery Kits

Whales teacher guide (grades 4-8)

Ocean Planet - Smithsonian Exhibition

Discovery Channel Oceans Lesson Plans

Sea World - Educational Resources

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Book Suggestions:

The Underwater Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

The Seashore by Gallimard Jeunesse and Elisobeth Cohat

The Deep by Tim Winton

The Seashore (a Scholastic First Discovery book)

Waters Under the Sea (Usborne Beginners) by Fiona Patchett

First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans (Usborne)

The Underwater Alphabet by Jerry Pallotta

The Kids Earth Handbook By Sandra Markie

The Lorax by Dr Seuss

Earth Day:

What can we do to take care of the Earth?

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was held. The day was set aside for everyone to think about way to take care of our Earth and its resources.

What are the three R’s:

Reduce – cut down on garbage before you buy something

Reuse-save things that would usually be thrown out and use them over again

Recycle – reuse the materials that things are made of by using the material in a new way

The Ocean:

Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface. The oceans contain roughly 97% of the Earth's water supply. The oceans of Earth are unique in our Solar System. No other planet in our Solar System has liquid water. Life on Earth originated in the seas, and the oceans continue to be home to an incredibly diverse web of life.

The oceans of Earth serve many functions, especially affecting the weather and temperature. They moderate the Earth's temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation. The always moving ocean currents distribute this heat energy around the globe. This heats the land and air during the winter months and cools it during the summer months.

THE OCEANS: The Earth's oceans are all connected to one another. Until the year 2000, there were four recognized oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic. In the Spring of 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization delimited a new ocean, the Southern Ocean.

WHY ARE THE OCEANS SALTY? As water flows in rivers, it picks up small amounts of mineral salts from the rocks and soil of the river beds. This very-slightly salty water flows into the oceans and seas. The water in the oceans only leaves by evaporating, but the salt remains dissolved in the ocean. So the remaining water gets saltier and saltier as time passes.

SALINITY  The salt content of ocean water varies. The oceans are about 3.5% salt. The saltiest water is in the Red Sea and in the Persian Gulf. The least salty seas are in the polar regions, where both melting polar ice and a lot of rain dilute the salt.

WHAT CAUSES THE TIDES? Tides are periodic rises and falls of large bodies of water. Tides are caused by the gravitational interaction between the Earth and the Moon. The gravitational pull of the moon causes the oceans to bulge out in the direction of the moon. Another bulge occurs on the opposite side, since the Earth is also being pulled toward the moon. Since the earth is rotating while this is happening, two tides occur each day. Isaac Newton was the first person to explain tides.

WHY IS THE OCEAN BLUE? Sunlight is made up of all the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Some of the sunlight is reflected off the surface of the water, reflecting the color of the sky. Some of the sunlight penetrates the water and is scattered by ripples and particles in the water.

Water absorbs more of the red light in sunlight; the water also enhances the scattering of blue light. Sir Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman (an Indian physicist) won the Nobel prize in 1930 for his work on light.

Some Oddly-Colored Seas:

The Red Sea often looks red because of red algae that live in this sea.

The Black Sea looks almost black because it has a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide (which appears black).

Try This:

Wave bottle -  Fill a small water bottle with a little more than half water and add two or three drops of blue food coloring. Mix well and then fill the rest with mineral oil all the way to the top. Put the lid on tightly hot gluing it in place. When the bottle is held sideways and tipped back and forth it will form “waves”. If desired, add a small amount of sand, shells, and sequins before adding the oil and water.

Edible Aquarium - Make blue Jell-O following the directions on the box. Pour the Jell-O into clear plastic cups and let them partially set – approximately one hour. Then use gummy fish, Swedish fish-Aqua Life, or fruit snack sharks to push into the Jell-O. Refrigerate for the remaining time and then enjoy!

Bible – Teach the days of creation by reading the creation story to your child. Talk about when oceans were created (day 2), the beach (day 3).

Spy Jar – Fill a 2 liter empty plastic bottle with sand. Drop small objects in the bottle that relate to the ocean/beach. Glue the lid on the bottle. The child will be able to see different objects as he/she turns the bottle. Have the child name the objects that he/she sees or give clues for a certain object and have the child find it. You could make up a check-off sheet for the child to check as the find the items. For children not reading, put a picture clue next to each word on the check-off list.

Sea Scented Play-doh Recipe:

  •          3 cups of flour
  •          1.5 ounces cream of tartar
  •          ¾ cup salt
  •          3 tbsp. cooking oil
  •          3 cups water
  •          1 tbsp. coconut extract
  •          Yellow food coloring
  •          Gold glitter

Combine the first five ingredients in a large pot. Whisk together until free of lumps. Stir in the coconut extract and yellow food coloring. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until it pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a large ball. Knead the ball lightly on a flour board until the dough is smooth. (Be careful it is hot.) Knead in the desired amount of glitter. After cooled, store in airtight container.

Discovering The Ocean:

Locate and name the six oceans on this planet.

Describe three groups of plants and animals in the ocean.

Identify the parts of the ocean floor.

Trace the route water follows to get to the ocean.

Compare the amount of light at different ocean zones.

Why are there waves?

Why can fish live in water, but people can't?

How clean is the air we breathe?

How about the water we drink?

How can we use the Earth’s resources wisely?


What can we do to protect Earth’s resources?