Lesson Plans

Educators and scientists working with NOAA developed a series of lesson plans for students in Grades 5 - 12 that are specifically tied to the science behind AUVfest 2008. These lesson plans focus on cutting-edge ocean exploration and research using state-of-the-art technologies.

One lesson each is provided for Grades 5-6, Grades 7-8, and Grades 9-12, as well as links to Other Relevant Lessons from previous Ocean Explorer expeditions. In addition to being tied to the National Science Education Standards and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, the hands-on, inquiry-based activities include focus questions, background information for teachers, links to interesting Internet sites, and extensions. Web logs that document the latest discoveries and complement the lesson plans, complete with compelling images and video, will be sent back each day from sea. Teachers are encouraged to use the daily logs from AUVfest 2008, which are posted on this site, to supplement the lesson plans.

Read a description of each lesson plan and/or download them to your computer. All of the lesson plans are available in a PDF format, and may be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download a lesson plan, click on its title from the listing below. (Note: if you have problems downloading one of these lessons, right-click on the link and save the lesson to your desktop.)

Grades 5-6

Grades 7-8

Grades 9-12

Other Relevant Lessons

Grades 5-6

Ship of the Line (PDF, 9 pages, 293k)
Focus: Maritime History/Physical Science/Social Science

In this activity, students will be able to describe general characteristics and technologies used in 18th century naval ships; draw inferences about daily life aboard these ships; and explain at least three ways in which simple machines were used on these vessels.

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Grades 7-8

Shipwreck Mystery (PDF, 10 pages, 322k)
Focus: Marine Archaeology (Earth Science/Physical Science/Social Science)

In this activity, students will be able to draw inferences about a shipwreck given information on the location and characteristics of artifacts from the wreck; use a grid system to document the location of artifacts recovered from a model shipwreck site; and identify and explain types of evidence and expertise that can help verify the nature and historical content of artifacts recovered from shipwrecks.

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Grades 9-12

The Robot Archaeologist (PDF, 17 pages, 500k)
Focus: Marine Archaeology/Marine Navigation (Earth Science/Mathematics)

In this activity, students will design an archaeological survey strategy for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); calculate expected position of the AUV based on speed and direction of travel; and calculate course correction required to compensate for the set and drift of currents.

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Other Relevant Lesson Plans from NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program

Grades 5-6

Looking for Clues (PDF, 8 pages, 556k)
Focus: Marine archaeology of the Titanic

In this activity, students will be able to draw inferences about a shipwreck given information on the location and characteristics of artifacts from the wreck, and will list three processes that contribute to the Titanic's deterioration.

Wreck Detectives (PDF, 5 pages, 384k) (from the 2003 Steamship Portland Expedition)
Focus: Marine archaeology (Physical Science)

In this activity, students use a grid system to document the location of artifacts recovered from a model shipwreck site, use data about the location and types of artifacts recovered from a model shipwreck site to draw inferences about the sunken ship and the people who were aboard, and identify and explain types of evidence and expertise that can help verify the nature and historical context of artifacts recovered from shipwrecks.

Grades 7-8

Sonar Simulation (PDF, 308kb)(from the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies Expedition)
Focus: Side scan sonar (Earth Science/Physical Science)

In this activity, students will describe side-scan sonar, compare and contrast side-scan sonar with other methods used to search for underwater objects, and make inferences about the topography of an unknown and invisible landscape based on systematic discontinuous measurements of surface relief.

I, Robot, Can Do That! (PDF, 9 pages, 357k) (from the 2005 Lost City Expedition)
Focus - (Physical Science/Life Science) Underwater Robotic Vehicles for Scientific Exploration

In this activity, students will be able to describe and contrast at least three types of underwater robots used for scientific explorations, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using underwater robots in scientific explorations, and identify robotic vehicles best suited to carry out certain tasks.

This Old Ship (PDF,9 pages, 272 kb) (from the 2006 Phaedra Expedition)
Focus: Ancient and Prehistoric Shipwrecks

In this activity, students will be able to describe at least three types of artifacts that are typically recovered from ancient shipwrecks, explain the types of information that may be obtained from at least three types of artifacts that are typically recovered from ancient shipwrecks, and compare and contrast, in general terms, technological features of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Hellenistic, and Byzantine period ships.

Mapping the Aegean Seafloor (PDF, 8 pages, 288 kb) (from the 2006 Phaedra Expedition)
Focus: Bathymetric mapping of deep-sea habitats

In this activity, students will be able to create a two-dimensional topographic map given bathymetric survey data, create a three-dimensional model of landforms from a two-dimensional topographic map, and interpret two- and three-dimensional topographic data.

Grades 9-12

My Wet Robot (PDF, 300kb) (from the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies Expedition)
Focus: Underwater Robotic Vehicles

In this activity, students will be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using underwater robots in scientific explorations, identify key design requirements for a robotic vehicle that is capable of carrying out specific exploration tasks, describe practical approaches to meet identified design requirements, and (optionally) construct a robotic vehicle capable of carrying out an assigned task.

Do You Have a Sinking Feeling? (PDF, 9 pages, 764k) (from the 2003 Steamship Portland Expedition)
Focus: Marine archaeology (earth science/mathematics)

In this activity, students plot the position of a vessel given two bearings on appropriate landmarks, draw inferences about a shipwreck given information on the location and characteristics of artifacts from the wreck, and explain how the debris field associated with a shipwreck gives clues about the circumstances of the sinking ship.

Where’s My ‘Bot? (PDF, 492kb) (from the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies Expedition)
Focus: Marine Navigation (Earth Science/Mathematics)

In this activity, students will estimate geographic position based on speed and direction of travel, and integrate these calculations with GPS data to estimate the set and drift of currents.

Designing Tools for Ocean Exploration (PDF, 13 pages, 496k) (from the Galapagos Rift 2002 Expedition)
Focus: Ocean Exploration

In this activity, students will understand the complexity of ocean exploration; students will learn about the technological applications and capabilities required for ocean exploration; students will discover the importance of teamwork in scientific research projects; and students will develop the abilities necessary for scientific inquiry.

Submersible Designer (PDF, 4 pages, 452k) (from the Galapagos Rift 2002 Expedition)
Focus: Deep Sea Submersibles

In this activity, students will understand that the physical features of water can be restrictive to movement; students will understand the importance of design in underwater vehicles by designing their own submersible; Students will understand how submersibles such as ALVIN and ABE, use energy, buoyancy, and gravity to enable them to move through the water.

Where Am I? (PDF, 4 pages, 344k) (from the 2003 Steamship Portland Expedition)
Focus: Marine navigation and position finding (earth science)

In this activity, students identify and explain at least seven different techniques used for marine navigation and position finding, explain the purpose of a marine sextant, and use an astrolabe to solve practical trigonometric problems.

 


 

For More Information

Contact Paula Keener-Chavis, national education coordinator for the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, for more information.

Other lesson plans developed for this Web site are available in the Education Section.