Mission Plan
Mission Plan

Education
Education

Bioluminescence
Bioluminescence

Eye in the Sea
Eye-in-the-Sea

Dark Hilltop Gardens
Dark Hilltop Gardens

Low Light Imaging & Vision
Low Light Imaging & Vision

Explorers
Explorers

Lesson Plans for the Bioluminescence 2009: Living Light on the Deep Sea Floor Expedition

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 the Bioluminescence 2009 expedition. These lesson plans focus on cutting-edge ocean exploration using state-of-the-art technologies.

The lesson plans are grouped into the following categories:
Diamon Icon Grades 5-6
Diamon Icon Grades 7-8
Diamon Icon Grades 9-12

Each grade-level grouping includes an activity that focuses on the exploration being conducted as part of the Bioluminescence 2009 Expedition. In addition to being tied to the National Science Education Standards, 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 the Operation Deep Scope 2005 Expedition, 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 pdf format, and may be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader External Link. 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

A Bioluminescent Gallery (PDF, 2.7 MB)
Focus: Bioluminescence in deep ocean organisms (Life Science/Physical Science)
In this activity, students compare and contrast chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, fluorescence, and phosphorescence; and explain at least three ways in which the ability to produce light may be useful to deep-sea organisms.

Now You See Me, Now You Don't (PDF, 1 MB)
Focus: Light, color, and camouflage in deep ocean organisms (Life Science/Physical Science)
In this activity, students explain light in terms of electromagnetic waves, and explain the relationship between color and wavelength; compare and contrast color related to wavelength with color perceived by biological vision systems; explain how color and light may be important to deep-sea organisms, even under conditions of near-total darkness; and predict the perceived color of objects when illuminated by light of certain wavelengths.


Grades 7-8

Deep Lights (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Focus: Light-producing processes and organisms in deep-sea environments (Life Science/Physical Science)
In this activity, students compare and contrast chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, fluorescence, phosphorescence, and triboluminescence; infer whether the light-producing process is chemiluminescence, fluorescence, phosphorescence, or triboluminescence from observations on materials that emit light under certain conditions; and explain three ways in which the ability to produce light may be useful to deep-sea organisms.

Twisted Vision (PDF, 1 MB)
Focus: Polarization vision (Life Science/Physical Science)
In this activity, students explain the meaning of polarized light; identify three ways in which unpolarized light can become polarized; explain why some animals have polarization vision, and why humans do not have this ability; and discuss three ways in which polarization vision may be useful to marine organisms.


Grades 9-12

Picture This! (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Focus: Infrared, ultraviolet, and polarization photography (Life Science)
In this activity, students compare and contrast infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light regions of the electromagnetic spectrum; explain the meaning of polarized light; and create photographic images that demonstrate infrared, ultraviolet, and polarization phenomena.

To See or Not To See (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Focus: Bioluminescence, color, and camouflage in deep ocean organisms (Life Science)
In this activity, students identify and discuss key factors that determine the effectiveness of color camouflage in pelagic and benthic habitats; describe how ambient light changes with increasing depth in the ocean; explain how the wavelength of light that illuminates an organism may determine the most effective camouflage coloration; and explain how an organism that has effective camouflage coloration under ambient illumination may not be effectively camouflaged when it is illuminated by bioluminescence.

Living Light (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Focus: Bioluminescence (Chemistry/Life Science)
In this activity, students explain the overall process of bioluminescence, including the role of luciferins, luciferases, and co-factors; discuss at least three phyla that include bioluminescent organisms; discuss at least three ways that bioluminescence may benefit deep-sea organisms, and give an example of at least one organism that actually receives each of the benefits discussed; and; create a scientific poster to communicate technical information.

Through Other Eyes (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Focus: Vision in marine organisms (Life Science)
In this activity, students describe the overall structure of the crustacean compound eye; describe the eyes of stomatopods, and explain features that give these organisms visual capabilities that exceed those of humans; discuss three ways in which deep-sea animals may benefit from visual capabilities such as those found in stomatopods; and describe an artificial system that might replicate some of the features of photoreceptors in deep sea organisms.


Other Relevant Lesson Plans from NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program

Grades 5-6

Cool Lights (PDF, 220Kb)
(from the 2004 Deep Scope Expedition)
Focus: Light-producing processes and organisms in deep-sea environments
In this activity, students compare and contrast chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, fluorescence, and phosphorescence. Given observations on materials that emit light under certain conditions, students infer whether the light-producing process is chemiluminescence, fluorescence, or phosphorescence. Students explain three ways in which the ability to produce light may be useful to deep-sea organisms and explain how scientists may be able to use light-producing processes in deep-sea organisms to obtain new observations of these organisms.

Grades 7-8

Who Has the Light? (PDF, 200Kb)
(from the 2004 Deep Scope Expedition)
Focus: Bioluminescence in deep-sea organisms
In this activity, students compare and contrast chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, fluorescence, and phosphorescence. Students also explain at least three ways in which the ability to produce light may be useful to deep-sea organisms and explain how scientists may be able to use light-producing processes in deep-sea organisms to obtain new observations of these organisms.

Grades 9-12

Where Is That Light Coming From? (PDF, 208Kb)
(from the Operation Deep Scope 2004 Expedition)
Focus: Bioluminescence
In this activity, students explain the role of luciferins, luciferases, and co-factors in bioluminescence and the general sequence of the light-emitting process. Additionally, students discuss the major types of luciferins found in marine organisms, define the "lux operon" and discuss at least three ways that bioluminescence may benefit deep-sea organisms. Students give an example of at least one organism that actually receives each of the benefits discussed.

Light at the Bottom of the Deep, Dark Ocean? (PDF, 476k)
(from the 2002 Islands in the Stream Expedition)
Focus: Biology - Adaptations of deepwater organisms
In this activity, students will participate in an inquiry activity; relate the structure of an appendage to its function; and describe how a deepwater organism responds to its environment without bright light.


For More Information

Contact:
Paula Keener-Chavis

Director, Education Programs
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

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