Review the vocabulary in bold throughout this guide (as appropriate for the ages and levels of students).
Explain to students that there is only one world ocean: a single interconnected body of water that surrounds every continent and island. To demonstrate this concept, ask students to examine an inflatable globe. Using washable markers, challenge students to draw a route around the globe—starting and finishing at your location—that touches only land. Now ask students to find a route around the globe using only waterways. Students will discover that, unlike landmasses, the oceans are all connected.
Water Vs. Land
Brainstorm with your students a list of things that are possible in water that are not possible on land, and vice versa. Record responses on the board. Possible answers include types of locomotion (e.g., swimming or walking), feeding methods (e.g., filtration or chewing), and different kinds of communication (e.g., sonar or talking). Ask students to look for additional abilities unique to organisms living in water when they visit the Hall.
Discuss with students that on land, life is either supported internally by cell walls or it possesses an endo- or exoskeleton. In water, organisms that lack "organic support" such as a skeleton rely on the properties of buoyancy for external support. This activity will help students visualize the how the properties of buoyancy affect the structure of an organism.
What you need:
- "zip lock" baggie
- large clear container
- Explain to students that the baggie represents certain kinds of marine life (such as jellyfish) that do not have exo- or endoskeletons.
- Fill a plastic "zip lock" baggie with water and seal it closed.
- Place the "flimsy" water-filled baggie on a solid surface.
- Ask students to examine and describe the way it looks.
- Now, place the baggie in a clear, liquid-filled container. Ask students to notice the difference in the baggie's appearance in water, where it receives support from the surrounding water, as compared to out of the water, where there is less support.