Down in the Deep Blue Sea - A Look at the Layers of the Ocean

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Objectives:

  • The students will be able to name and identify the major oceans of the world.

  • The students will learn the depth of the ocean.

  • The students will learn the names of each layer of the ocean.

  • The students will be able to explain the depth of each layer of the ocean.

  • The students will be able to name the ten major trenches on Earth.

  • The students will be able to name organisms that live in each layer of the ocean.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about the ocean. How deep do you think the ocean is?

  • Do you think there are any organisms that live on the ocean floor?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about the layers of the ocean?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • The major oceans of the world and where they are located.

  • The depth of the ocean.

  • The names and descriptions of each layer of the ocean.

  • The depth of each later of the ocean.

  • The organisms that can be found in each layer of the ocean.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • The teacher will begin the class by handing out the “What I Saw On My Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean” worksheet.  The teacher should explain that he/she will be showing the video “Underwater with Canon Powershot G7 X [2K/QHD]” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubjWgVUZCRU). The video is about 7 ½ minutes long and shows various clips of the ocean. While they are watching the video, the students will fill out the “What I Saw On My Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean” worksheet. The students should write good descriptions of the fish, coral, and other organisms they observe in the video. After the video is over, the teacher should review the worksheet and discuss what the students observed.

  • Next, the teacher will show the students the “Oceans of the World” picture. If possible, project the “Oceans of the World” picture onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project. The teacher should point to each ocean, say the name of the ocean, and have the students repeat. The teacher should present these facts to the students:

  • There are five major oceans in the world: Atlantic; Pacific; Indian; Arctic; Southern

  • Most of the Earth’s volcanic activity (about 90%) occurs in the ocean.

  • The ocean’s temperature is about 39OF.

  • Algae absorb carbon dioxide and provide the Earth with oxygen.

  • The largest ocean is the Pacific; it covers about 30% of the Earth’s surface.

  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean; it covers about 21% of the Earth’s surface.

  • The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean; it covers about 14% of the Earth’s surface.

Information Sources:

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/marine_biome.php

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/earth/oceans.html

  • Next, the teacher will hand out the worksheet “Layers of the Ocean” If it is possible, project each page of the “Layers of the Ocean” worksheet packet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project. As the teacher explains, the students fill in the blank spots on their worksheet. The worksheets should be presented in this order:  “Layers of the Ocean”; “Epipelagic Zone”; “Mesopelagic Zone”; “Bathypelagic Zone”; “Abyssopelagic Zone”; “Hadalpelagic Zone”.

**This information is not included on the student worksheets. Use this as a guide when explaining each worksheet to the students**

**“Layer” and “Zone” are used interchangeably**

**For “Layers of the Ocean” worksheet, refer to the teacher’s copy**

  • The ocean covers about 70% of the Earth.

  • The ocean measures about 12,400 feet in depth.

  • The ocean is divided into 5 zones or layers. The divisions help scientists study the ocean better.

  • As you go deeper into the ocean, the pressure increases and temperature decreases.

  • Strange/ bizarre sea creatures live in the deepest parts of the ocean.

Epipelagic Zone

  • The first zone of the ocean/ surface of the ocean.

  • Also known as the “Sunlight Zone” because it’s the layer that receives the most sun.

  • Extends to 0- 200 meters/ 656 feet.

  • This zone contains most of the life found in the ocean.

  • Heat/ temperature for this zone comes mostly from the sun.

  • Due to the sun’s light plants grow in this zone.

  • In this layer, you will find: tuna; sea lions; stingrays; sharks.

Mesopelagic Zone

  • The second zone of the ocean.

  • Also known as the “Twilight Zone” or “Midwater Zone”.

  • Extends 200 meters (656 feet) – 1,000 meters (3,821 feet).

  • Some light reaches this layer, but it is very faint.

  • Organisms that live in this level must be able to survive in the cold and dark.

  • You will not find plants in this layer because there is not enough light for photosynthesis to occur.

  • Bioluminescent fish are found in this level. These fish have adapted to the darkness and have used chemicals (photophores) in their body to create light (similar to a firefly). These fish are found in marine biomes only.

  • In this layer, you will find: octopus; squid; bioluminescent fish; hatchet fish; clusterwink snail; atolla.

**This is a good website that shows 8 of the most beautiful/ fascinating bioluminescent fish found in the ocean: https://www.wired.com/2011/01/bioluminescent-sea-creatures/**

Bathypelagic Zone

  • The third zone of the ocean.

  • Also known as the “Midnight Zone” or “Dark Zone”.

  • Extends 1,000 meters (3,821 feet) – 4,000 meters (13,124 feet).

  • The only light that is seen in this layer comes from the bioluminescent fish that live here.

  • The water pressure is great—about 5,850 pounds per square inch.

  • Due to the lack of light, most of the organisms in this layer are either black or red.

  • In this layer, you will find: sperm whales; mollusks; crustaceans; jellyfish; vampire squid

Abyssopelagic Zone

  • The fourth zone of the ocean.

  • Also known as the “Abyssal Zone” or the “Abyss”.

  • Extends 4,000 meters (13,124 feet) – 6,000 meters (19,686 feet).

  • “Abyss” is Greek for “no bottom”.

  • There is absolutely no light in this zone.

  • The temperature is right around the freezing point.

  • Within this zone is ¾ of the ocean floor.

  • Most of the organisms found here are invertebrates.

  • In this layer, you will find: deep-water squids; seapigs; basket stars; seaspiders; tripod fish; dumbo octopus.

Hadalpelagic Zone

  • Fifth zone of the ocean/ ocean floor.

  • Also known as “The Trenches”.

  • Extends from 6,000 meters (19,686 feet).

  • Found in deep trenches and canyons.

  • A trench is a long, narrow, deep depression in the ocean floor, typically one running parallel to a plate boundary and marking a subduction zone (Dictionary Definition). They are found in the deepest part of the ocean floor where the plates slide under another. There are 10 major trenches in the world:

    • Aleutian Trench [Alaska Coastline]

    • Cayman Trench [between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands]

    • Japan Trench [northeast Japan; part of the “Ring of Fire”]

    • Kermadec Trench [under the Indo-Australian Plate; deepest in the world]

    • Kuril Trench [northwest Pacific Ocean]

    • Mariana Trench [western Pacific Islands, near the Mariana Islands]

    • Middle America Trench [eastern Pacific Ocean; from Mexico to Costa Rica]

    • Peru-Chile Trench [eastern Pacific Ocean, near Peru and Chile]

    • Puerto Rico Trench [between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean]

    • Tonga Trench [South Pacific Ocean]

  • Very cold and dark in this zone.

  • Many of the organisms here do not have eyes.

  • Water pressure averages two tons per square inch.

  • In this layer, you will find: starfish; tube worms; spook fish; black-dragon fish; eels; angler fish

Information Sources:

http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/ocean-layers.html

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwep6c.htm

http://watersome.blogspot.com/2013/07/layers-of-ocean.html

http://marinebio.org/oceans/open-ocean/

http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/oc/Oceanic_trench

http://deepseabiomebio11.blogspot.com/p/hadalpelagic-zone-6000-11000m.html

  • After the worksheet is completed, the students will participate in an activity called “What Lives in the Ocean?” The students can work individually or in pairs. Each student will get four “Ocean Organisms” worksheets and “Ocean Layers” signs. The students will also get a poster board, scissors, glue, and writing/drawing utensils. The students will cut out the “Ocean Layers” signs and “Ocean Organisms” pictures. The students will glue the signs onto their poster board. The students will then look at the pictures of the organisms and determine which layer of the ocean they belong in. Allow the students to work for about 15 minutes. Reconvene and discuss when the students are finished.

    • Worksheet 1: starfish; sea snail; atolla; eel; tripod fish; sea pig; tuna

    • Worksheet 2: sea lion; octopus; hatchet fish; squid; stingray; sperm whales

    • Worksheet 3: sea spider; bioluminescent fish; jellyfish; mollusk; crustacean; dumbo octopus; basket star

    • Worksheet 4: deep-water squid; tube worms; spook fish

Closure

  • The final assessment will be for the students to answer the questions:

Think about what you learned in class today. How many zones (layers) is the ocean divided into and what are their names? What layer can you find most of the living organisms? What is so unique about bioluminescent fish? What is unique about the organisms that live on the ocean floor?

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

  • Introductory Activity: Video and “Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean” worksheet

  • Discussion: “Oceans of the World” | “Layers of the Ocean” worksheet packet

  • Activity: “What Lives in the Ocean”

  • Discussion of Activity

  • Independent Assessment

10 minutes

Introductory Activity: Video & “Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean” Worksheet.

  • Instruct the student to write their observations on their worksheet. Discuss when the video is over.

15 Minutes

“Oceans of the World” | “Layers of the Ocean”

  • Review the “Oceans of the World” picture. Discuss some facts about the ocean (included in lesson plan).

  • Give each student a “Layers of the Ocean” worksheet packet.

  • Project each page of the worksheet packet onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • Students will fill in the blanks on their worksheet as the teacher presents.

  • Review the worksheets in this order: “Layers of the Ocean”; “Epipelagic Zone”; “Mesopelagic Zone”; “Bathypelagic Zone”; “Abyssopelagic Zone”; “Hadalpelagic Zone”.

15 Minutes

Activity: “What Lives in the Sea?”

  • The students can work individually or in pairs.

  • Give each student four “Ocean Organisms” worksheets and “Ocean Layers” signs.

  • Also give each student a poster board, scissors, glue, and writing/drawing utensils.

  • The students will cut out the “Ocean Layers” signs and “Ocean Organisms” pictures. The students will glue the signs onto their poster board.

  • The students will then look at the pictures of the organisms and determine which layer of the ocean they belong in.

  • Allow the students to work for about 15 minutes.

  • At the end of 15 minutes, reconvene and discuss the activity.

Closure/Assessment
15 minutes

  • As an independent assessment, the students will answer the question:  

Think about what you learned in class today. How many zones (layers) is the ocean divided into and what are their names? What layer can you find most of the living organisms? What is so unique about bioluminescent fish? What is unique about the organisms that live on the ocean floor?

  • Appropriate answers should include (but will vary).

  • If there is additional time, discuss any questions the students might have.

Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.

Ecosystems, Biomes, and Habitats PowerPoint and Activities

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