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Studying the ocean is one of my favorite homeschool teaching topics. There’s such an expanse of material to enjoy. It’s got all sorts of science from physics (waves) to biology and chemistry. The habitat is complex, the animals diverse and amazing, and there are still unsolved mysteries for scientists to tackle. Oceanography was easily my favorite class in graduate school! After all, I was a scientist taking lots of graduate classes in education- of course my favorite class would be my science electives!
Just like there is no shortage of topics to study in oceanography, you’ll be excited to know that the resources available to help you teach it are no less expansive. Today’s post is all about Exploring Oceanography in Your Homeschool.
Basic Concepts in Oceanography
Oceanography is a wide area of study with many options, but here is a list of the basic concepts a study in oceans might entail. The older your students, the more in depth you can go with the topics. It’s fascinating to go beyond habitat and ocean life and study how oceans behave. Don’t miss out on learning about large scale ocean behaviors like The Coriolis Effect.
- Name and Map the Oceans- Basic ocean geography and definition of an ocean
- Composition of Ocean Water- What’s in sea water and what’s it made of?
- Ocean Zones- Light determines a lot about how creatures live in the water. Learn about habitats and characteristics at various ocean depths.
- Animals and Critters- Study animals and plants found in marine habitats.
- Ocean behavior- currents, waves, and tides
- Large Scale Phenomena- The Coriolis Effect, winds
- Beaches- Erosion, barrier islands
- Navigating the Ocean- How do people get around? What equipment do they use?
- Ocean Floor- What’s down there? How do you study it? Can you map it?
Resources for Oceanography Studies
- Sea Life Notebook Pages- These are fun set of pages which cover any sea animal you’d like to study. If you don’t find the one you need, then there are blank pages for you to use. The boys used their Kindles to do some research and jot down facts on their notebook pages. They are working on an animal report for writing.
- NorthStar Geography- Middle and high school geography curriculum with a section on physical geography including the hydrosphere and oceans.
- WinterPromise Sea & Sky- Our 4th and 7th graders are working through Sea & Sky this year. There’s a lot of ocean science involved which is fun for adventurous boys.
- Amanda Bennett Oceans- A four week study of the world’s oceans.
- Usborne Discovery Books- On various animals
- Ocean by DK- Stunning pictures and information on oceans
- Oceans for Every Kid- A Janice VanCleave book with ocean experiments
- Awesome Ocean Science- An elementary book on ocean science
- The Ocean Book- Marine activities from an aquatic center
- Ocean-Opoly- A board game that plays like Monopoly with lots of ocean facts
Media Options for Oceanography
It’s fun to watch videos about the ocean. Who doesn’t love seeing the creatures from the deep or sharks in their own habitat. The internet is a treasure trove of underwater exploration.
- Deep Sea Exploration- Post Cold War release of technology helps ocean research after the fall of the Berlin Wall from the Documentary TV. Great history of sea exploration.
- The Deep Sea Exploring the Zones- Equipment and travel in the deep sea. Fun look at all the ocean zones.
- The Coriolis Effect- An explanation of this phenomenon.
- The Deepest Ocean in the World, The Marianas Trench- A look at the deepest place on earth.
- Global Winds- An explanation of how winds work around the earth.
These are just a few examples of the wealth of information and fun videos you can find using YouTube. Do you know how to make a YouTube play list? It’s a great way to line up great videos for your kids for school.
Other Blog, She Wrote Posts Related to Oceanography
This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered the ocean in our studies. Here’s a look back at some recent and not so recent experiences from the past.
- Teaching Geography with Earth Science- Combing high school earth science with a geography course. This is a labor of love for the 2014-2015 school year.
- Weather Stations & Forecasting- A study of the ocean would not be complete without the study of its weather.
- Hurricanes- Have you ever done hurricane tracking or learned about these powerful storms?
- Plankton Studies- Lesson plans and a TED Talk on bioluminescence
- Button Ocean- For the preschoolers in your life an idea on using buttons and sea creatures to make for some ocean fun.
- Geography Quest Shark Edition- A fun post for shark week or anytime sharks are on your education menu
With a little time and some basic resources, your family can engage in a comprehensive study of Oceanography.