Lively Lessons: Ocean Conservation

circle_JenJensenJennifer Jensen is a Computer Resource Teacher at Douglas County School District in Colorado.  Jen is an active member of the Discovery Education community both in Colorado and across the country.  When she’s not sharing her love for teaching and technology, you’ll find Jen underwater on a dive trip, on the golf course, or behind the camera.

It covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. Forty percent of the world’s population lives in a coastal region. The world’s oceans: strong, yet fragile – a resource that we must protect. With this Lively Lesson, dive into Discovery Education’s digital resources to help bring the underwater world to life for your students.


  • What is in the ocean?
  • Have humans impacted the ocean?
  • Is the ocean important?


SOS: Now Screening – As you introduce this Lively Lesson, utilize this SOS to pique the interest of your students. As you are selecting your images, keep the essential questions in mind. You will want to include images that get students thinking about these ideas.

As students work through this lesson and its essential questions, have them think about the 10-10-10 Rule and collect their thinking and new understandings about the impact of their choices on the oceans and the environment.  The 10-10-10 Rule asks:

  • What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes?
  • In 10 months?
  • And in 10 years?

Depending on the age of your students, this can be done as individuals, partners, small groups, or as a whole class. They will be able to use this summary for their final assessment.


Essential Question: What is in the ocean?

To help students answer this question, use  SOS: Get VENN-y With It. Students complete a venn diagram comparing life in the ocean with life on land. Remember, venn diagrams can also be done using drawings, or even images/clipart on the computer.

c_beach_pollutionEssential Question: Have humans impacted the ocean?

Younger students will use SOS: Talking Sticks to discuss the topic of human impact. For older students, use SOS: Four Corners to address the various topics, positions, and opinions surrounding the topic of human impact on our oceans and world as a whole.

circle_Moon_JellyfishEssential Question: Is the ocean important?

Students will use SOS: That Sums It Up to answer the question about the importance of the ocean.


Below are a variety of suggested strategies you can use for student assessment. After students have watched the two resources listed under assessment, present the following to your students:

Philippe Cousteau discusses the influence youth has on important topics and shares the following quote:

“Youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow, they’re the leaders of today and the amount of power they have to change the world.”

Thinking about this quote, what can you do with the 10 – 10 – 10 Rule when it comes to ocean conservation? What can you do to make an impact on the Earth’s oceans every day?

Consider using one of the following for students to share their thinking:


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