This section provides direct access to lesson plans developed by scientists and educators in conjunction with expeditions supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. These lessons are geared toward students in Grades 5-12. Presented here as web-based education materials, each lesson plan corresponds with a specific ocean exploration and can be supplemented with daily logs prepared by scientists and educators during each mission at sea. Images and video captured in the daily logs provide an invaluable resource for teachers and students as they explore these lessons.
Each lesson includes the following sections: Focus Question, Learning Objectives, Teaching Time, Seating Arrangement, Background Information, a step-by-step Learning Procedure, a “Me” Connection, Connections to Other Subjects, Assessments, Extensions, Resources, Student Handouts, and connections to daily expedition Web logs. Older lessons are aligned to the National Science Education Standards and newer lessons support the Next Generation Science Standards (and their associated Common Core Standards). All lessons from 2006 to the present also support the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts . Some lessons also have Adaptations for Teachers of Deaf Students.
The web links provided in Lesson Plans are verified at the time of publication, but over time, some links may change or become obsolete. Searching the web with key words may help to locate an updated site.
You can also find lesson plans by expedition. Browse our expeditions by topic, year, or location and then select the expedition you're interested in. You can then click on the "For Educators" link to find lesson plans on that expedition. Lesson plans are not available for all expeditions.
Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration is an updated curriculum for teachers of Grades 6-12 that takes lesson plans that were developed for NOAA ocean explorations and the Ocean Explorer website and presents them in a comprehensive scope and sequence through subject area categories that cut across individual expeditions. Each lesson focuses on an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning and is correlated to the National Science Education Standards.
Between 2001 and 2009, the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research (OER) sponsored 11 expeditions to explore deep-sea organisms and ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these sites are within a few miles of the Deepwater Horizon well. Each of these expeditions was documented with an extensive web presence that included lesson plans for educators at grade levels 5 through 12. OER’s Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Ecosystem Education Materials Collection includes a selection of these lesson plans together with new lessons and additional background information about the Deepwater Horizon blowout event.