Alaska Sea Grant

Investigation 6 - Discovering Underwater Wonders

Class Time Required

7-8 class periods

Materials Needed

  • Science notebooks
  • Internet access
  • Research materials
  • Scoring Guide

Teacher Preparation

  • 1-2 hours to investigate and gather research materials and develop guidelines for students

Prior Student Knowledge

 Students will use experience gained throughout the unit. They will need prior experience or concurrent instruction in research methods.

Vocabulary

Will vary according to topics 

 

Science GLEs Addressed

6th Grade: SA1.1, SE1.1, 

7th Grade: SA1.1, SE3.1 

8th Grade: SA1.1 

Investigation 6Overview: During this 7-8 day investigation, students create a list of ocean topics that they may have heard of or are familiar with, and then choose a topic to explore. They create a presentation to share their new knowledge with others.

Focus Question:

What can you discover about the underwater world?


Engagement: (20-30 minutes)

Help the students reflect on what they have learned during this unit. During the past few weeks, they have learned about deep-sea canyons, mountains in the sea, and the use of sound to track right whales in the Bering Sea. They now know some of the unique features and interesting organisms that live in the deep sea of Alaska. They have also learned about past and current technologies used to explore the ocean. New discoveries are being made all the time, but well over 90% of the oceans remain unexplored.
Ask students to brainstorm topics that they may be interested in learning more about.
Write the topics on chart paper or on the board, so all students can see them. If students have a difficult time coming up with topics, you can suggest some or all of the ones below or add some of your own:
•    Deep sea creatures
•    Giant squid
•    Hydrothermal vents
•    Archeology: discovering shipwrecks
•    Black smokers
•    Learning about ocean from space
•    Medicine from the ocean
•    History of ocean exploration
•    Discovery of new species in Alaska waters
•    Life under the ice
•    How man-made sound in the ocean affects the animals that live there

Once they have exhausted all their ideas and you have a list of numerous topics on the board, ask students to choose one of these topics to explore.
They will do some research, try to find answers to questions they might have, and then create a presentation to share what they have learned with others.

The NOAA Ocean Explorer website has details and information from many ocean explorations that have taken place since 2001.


Exploration: (3-4 class periods)

Before students begin exploring their chosen topic, ask them to thoughtfully respond to the following questions in their science notebooks:
•    Why is this topic of interest to you?
•    What do you already know about the topic?
•    Do you have unanswered questions about the topic?

Explain to students that they will have three class periods to research their topic (you may choose to allow students to spend more time researching). They may use library books, reference books, and the Internet to explore their topic to try to answer questions they have, and to learn what types of technology are being used in relation to the study of the topic. Review research procedures including note-taking, recording sources, and refraining from plagiarism. They will share information with other students with a short presentation. They may want to create a model, diorama, poster, iMovie, PowerPoint, etc., to share.
Share the investigation Scoring Guide with students so they will be familiar with the areas of assessment.


Explanation: (2 class periods)

Students will create a presentation that includes some type of visual and shows evidence of a basic understanding of the topic.
Ask students to be creative in their presentation. The presentation should be 7-10 minutes long, and answer the following questions:
•    Why was this topic of interest to you?
•    What did you already know about the topic before your exploration?
•    What were your unanswered questions about the topic?
It should also include:
•    Answers to their original questions (if they were able to find the answer).
•    Five significant things they learned.
•    What types of technology are used to study/research/explore this area.

Elaboration (1-2 class periods, depending on number of students)

Allow students to share their presentations with the class, other classes, or parents. Encourage questions from the audience.
Lead students in a discussion regarding the importance or significance of exploring their topics.


Evaluation: (15 minutes)

Use the investigation Scoring Guide to assess learning and presentation of knowledge.

Ask students to write this question in their science notebooks and respond: "Why do we still know less in some ways about the floor of the oceans than we do about the surface of the moon?"


Teacher Preparation

Tips from Teachers

No tips are currently available.

Read through all of the investigation materials. Decide how much time you want to devote to student research. Create a rubric for evaluation of student presentations or use the investigation Scoring Guide provided. Gather resource books and materials, and arrange for student internet access.


Curricular Connections

Language Arts: research, writing and presentation skills.

Art: Illustrating presentations.

Individual topics may relate to Health, Social Studies, and other subjects. 

Ideas for adapting to local environment or context:

Include research being done by local scientists and/or topics related to nearby ocean areas in the list of possible topics to research. 


Materials Needed for Investigation 6:  

Student Handouts
Items for Group Display

None

Material Items

Books, phamplets, posters and other research materials.

Art supplies for student presentations. 

Facility/Equipment Requirements 

Projector for showing student PowerPoint or iMovie presentations
Chalkboard or whiteboard for list of topics
Student internet and/or library access

Alaska Science Standards and Grade Level Expectations Addressed:

6th Grade:
The student demonstrates an understanding of the processes of science by
SA1.1 asking questions, predicting, observing, describing, measuring, classifying, making generalizations, inferring, and communicating.

The student demonstrates an understanding of how to integrate scientific knowledge and technology to address problems by
SE1.1 recognizing that technology cannot always provide successful solutions for problems or fulfill every human need.

7th Grade:
The student demonstrates an understanding of the processes of science by
SA1.1 asking questions, predicting, observing, describing, measuring, classifying, making generalizations, inferring, and communicating.

The student demonstrates an understanding of how scientific discoveries and technological innovations affect our lives and society by
SE3.1 recognizing the effects of a past scientific discovery, invention, or scientific breakthrough (e.g., DDT, internal combustion engine).

8th Grade:
The student demonstrates an understanding of the processes of science by
SA1.1 asking questions, predicting, observing, describing, measuring, classifying, making generalizations, inferring, and communicating.

Essential Questions:

  • How can technology help us explore the ocean?
  • Why do we want to explore the ocean?

Enduring Understandings:

  • The ocean is largely unexplored.
  • Humans must use ingenious ways to study the ocean.
  • Science and technology can be used to detect and solve problems.
seagrant UAF logo Alaska Department of Education and Early Development noaa
© 2007 - 2017 Alaska Sea Grant