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Profile an Ocean Researcher

Students will investigate a scientist who studies some aspect related to the ocean and create a flipbook about his or her work.

PROCESS:

  1. Identify a scientific researcher who studies the ocean, or have students identify candidates of their own. Areas of study could include plants, animals, water quality, the impact of climate change, etc.
  2. Instruct students to conduct research to learn about this scientist and his or her work. Encourage them to take detailed notes.
  3. Give each student a piece of plain white paper. Have students turn their papers into a flip book. To do this, instruct them to fold their papers in half vertically and measure and draw a horizontal line one inch away from the crease in three places: on the front cover and above and below the fold in the inside portion of the flipbook. Then have students measure and draw six equally spaced vertical lines from the edge of the paper to each horizontal line. (The two outer segments will be 1 1/2 inches wide and the four inner segments will each be 1 3/8 inches wide.) Finally, have students cut along the vertical lines-on the outer cover only-and carefully fold each segment along the horizontal line. (If you wish to save time, create a master copy and make duplicates. Students can then fold and cut to create their own flipbooks.)
  4. Have students label the six sections on the cover as follows: "Who?" "What?" "Where?" "When?" "Why?" "How?"
  5. Have students compose questions beginning with each word or introduce guidelines of your own. For instance, students could write a short biography of the researcher to answer "Who?" or explore "How can I help?" to answer "How?"
  6. Challenge students to summarize their notes to effectively answer each question in the allotted space inside the flipbook. Encourage them to add relevant graphics, drawings or pictures in the open horizontal space.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their flipbooks with the class. Once all presentations are complete, have the class identify key problems occurring in the ocean and how research currently underway can help scientists find solutions.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Prior to conducting this activity, select one scientist. Have students investigate the scientist and his or her research as a class. Then have each student create a flipbook of their own.
Grades 5-6:
As a class, conduct research to identify several scientists doing interesting research about the ocean. Or, if you prefer, identify several scientists before conducting this activity. Then divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a scientist and give them time to investigate his or her research. Instruct each group member to create a flipbook about the scientist and his or her work.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Have each pair identify a scientist who studies some aspect related to the ocean. Make sure there are no repeats. Give students time to investigate the scientist and his or her research. Then have each partner create a flipbook. Instruct students to include graphics, a map or photos for each entry.
Grades 9-10:
Instruct each student to identify a scientist who studies some aspect related to the ocean. Make sure there are no repeats. Give students time to investigate the scientist and his or her work. As they do, challenge them to find research on the topic that the scientist has published in a journal. Encourage students to cite this information as they create their flipbooks. Once all flipbooks are done, randomly match up two students. Challenge partners to identify at least one way their two scientists could collaborate to address an ocean issue in an innovative way.