Encourage students to record information in both words and drawings.
Ask students to make connections between the lower level dioramas and the ecosystem displays on the mezzanine. Students can choose an animal from the lower level, such as the polar bear, the tiger shark, or the otter, and link it to its related ecosystem, such as the polar sea, the open ocean, and the kelp forest, respectively. How are these animals especially adapted to their specific environments? What are the physical properties of the ecosystem? How does the organism fit into its environment? Is the species a producer or predator, and how? Is there any symbiotic relationship between the species and another? What are the energy sources at the base of the food web in the ecosystem? (sunlight? chemicals?) What are the threats to the habitat?
For younger age groups, ask students to "be" an organism of their choosing in the display. Ask: Where do you live? What and how do you eat? What threatens you? If you can, how do you move?
Ask students to choose one vertebrate and one invertebrate from the Tree of Life Walls and to locate information on each using the interactive computers in front of the cladograms. Have students use this information to locate their organisms in the Hall's ecosystem displays. Are their organisms found in more than one ecosystem? How do they fit into each ecosystem?
Marine animals often possess special physical characteristics that allow them to survive, for instance, ways of hiding or ways of hunting. Ask students to locate two or three ocean animals in the Hall that are different colors and shapes. Have students draw the shapes and color patterns of these animals. How do these physical characteristics help them to survive?
Oceans have influenced art and culture worldwide in areas such as design, poetry, and storytelling. Encourage students to draw a picture or write a poem inspired by the ocean and the examples of marine life in the Hall during or after their visit.