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Write About Protecting Ocean Diversity

Students will watch a webcast and then write an essay stating what they learned and what people can do to protect diversity in the ocean.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, watch the Smithsonian Science How webcast, "Ocean Biodiversity-Discovering Marine Invertebrates." Instruct students to take notes as they watch to record important ideas and interesting details.
  2. Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Encourage students to make a list of the most important things they learned as they share and compare their notes. 
  3. Using their notes as a guideline, instruct partners or groups to write a brief essay about biodiversity in the ocean. Challenge them to describe what the ocean is like, explain why it is important to maintain a healthy ocean ecosystem and identify things people can do to protect biodiversity in the ocean.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their essays with the class. Challenge them to identify the most important things people can do to protect biodiversity in the ocean.  

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Have students write their essays in small groups. As they do, remind them to introduce the topic clearly, develop it with facts and interesting details and summarize their positions with a strong concluding statement. 
Grades 5-6:
Have students write their essays in small groups. As they do, remind them to introduce the topic clearly, develop it with facts and concrete details and summarize their positions with a strong concluding statement. Encourage students to include at least one direct quotation from the webcast that supports their ideas about maintaining a healthy ocean ecosystem.
Grades 7-8: 
Have students write their essays with a partner. Instruct them to craft an introduction that introduces the topic clearly and piques readers' interest so they want to learn more. Tell them to develop the topic with facts, details, definitions and quotations from the webcast. If necessary, encourage them to conduct additional research to learn more about the topic. Challenge students to conclude their essays with a strong statement that supports their ideas about maintaining and protecting the ocean ecosystem.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. After watching the video, have partners conduct research to learn about current threats to the oceans. Challenge them to identify specific actions that have been taken and how those actions have helped protect biodiversity in the ocean. Then have partners write an essay that introduces the topic clearly and piques readers' interest so they want to learn more. Tell them to develop the topic with facts, details, definitions and quotations from the webcast. Challenge students to conclude their essays with a strong statement that supports their ideas about maintaining and protecting the ocean ecosystem.