Island Explorers Curriculum Home


Unit 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 5

Concepts/Objectives | Vocabulary/Background | Activity | Extension


Lesson Plan 1





Activity #1 : "SHOE BOX ACTIVITY"

Review different types of ocean features or introduce them by direct instruction/discussion.

  • What is an island, a trench, a sea mount?
  • Where are these features located in the ocean?
  • If you were an oceanographer, how would you know where these features were located?


  1. Using clay or modeling putty, students will work in small groups to construct an ocean bottom inside a shoe box. They need to include at least three different features.
  2. When construction is completed, students should cut a card board lid to fit the top of the shoe box.
  3. Students draw lines one inch apart on the card board lid in two dimensions to create a grid pattern.
  4. Next, tape the lid on top of the shoe box so that other groups cannot see the "ocean bottom" features.
  5. Students will exchange their shoe box for a shoe box from another group.
  6. Students will create holes at each 1" intersection along one line of the grid pattern. Insert a pipe cleaner ("depth line") into the holes to determine what "the ocean floor" in the shoe box looks like by calculating how deep they can extend the probe. They will be able to decipher various heights of the "underwater topography." They will draw on paper their idea of the shoe box "ocean floor" based on the information on the probes. (Multiple lines of the grid can be probed to get a three-dimensional picture of the ocean bottom.)
  7. Remove the lid of shoe box to see if their drawing matches the contour in the shoe box.
  8. Return the shoe box to the group which created.
  9. Save shoe box ocean floors for topographical mapping activities.

* Note: Students should understand that not every area can be measured and therefore need to create an efficient design for measuring. (This simulates real world scientific research.)


Activity #2 : "TOPO MAPS"

  • Create topographical maps from the previous activity.
  1. Place clear plastic overlay to top of shoe box
  2. Pour colored water to depth of 1" and trace the "contour lines" of the water onto the overlay.
  3. Continue to add water 1" at a time until they have drawn a simple contour map at 1" intervals.



Concepts/Objectives | Vocabulary/Background | Activity | Extension