Resource Type
Completion Time
About 1 period
High school and Up
Download, Share, and Remix
Sian Proctor
A computer with Internet connection is needed to complete this activity.
General Earth Science
Water Cycle, Weather, and Climate
Climate Change
General Environmental Studies
General Polar Science


The main objective of this activity is to increase ocean literacy. Users will be exposed to the Ocean Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts. This information is combined with other open educational resources, including streamed in YouTube videos.


This online activity integrates the Ocean Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts created by the ocean sciences and education communities. The learning outcomes are:

  • Describe the essential Principles and Fundamental concepts about the ocean.
  • Describe the significance of the ocean.
  • Explain the different layers of the ocean.
  • Describe the basic physics of ocean waves.
  • Compare and contrast the differences between surface and deep ocean currents.
  • Explain decisions regarding the ocean and its resources.
  • Communicate about the ocean in a meaningful way.

Lesson Preparation

No content needs to be covered before giving this lesson.


Users will only need time, minimum of two hours, to go through the entire lesson. It is designed as a homework activity. Simply provide the user with the link to the online activity.




Discover your changing world with NOAA


Users engage with the activity through questions and activities embedded within the lesson. Each question or activity is automatically scored. There are a total of 25 questions. Users can print out a certificate of completion with a score summary sheet at the end.

Author / Credits

PolarTREC Teacher Sian Proctor adapted and created this lesson based on her PolarTREC expedition and her curriculum needs as a community college educator and utilizing virtual platforms.

This lesson is adapted from the following sources:

R. Adam Dastrup, (n.d.), Open Geography Education
NOAA, (November 13, 2013), The Ocean Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts
CK-12 Content, (n.d.), Erosion by Waves
All YouTube videos are streamed into the activity

Note on Permissions

Online: Viewer may use this activity online with the online activity link. Users will be given the option to print out a certificate of completion at the end of the activity that can be turned in for a grade.
Add to a learning management system, download, share, and remix: Viewers may download and remix this activity or integrate it into a learning management system with a Softchalk account. They can use it as needed, share it with others, and change components to suit their needs. Additional changed versions of the submission can be resubmitted to the Learning Resources by contacting info [at]

Standards Other

This activity was designed for introductory college science students.

Attachment Size
Download Complete Lesson (PDF - 89KB)89.1 KB 89.1 KB

This program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the PIs and coordinating team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.