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Grades 9-12   Unit 5
The Deep Sea

Table of Contents

Conceptual Scheme
Marine Aquaria
Successful Fieldtripping

1. The Ocean Floor
This reading describes some of the technology oceanographers use to map the ocean bottom and outlines major ocean floor features.

2. If I Can’t See It, How Do I Know It’s There?
Students craft ocean bottom features in the bottom of shoeboxes and then trade covered boxes. Students probe the shoebox topography through holes in the shoebox lids and map the hidden ocean floors their classmates created.

3. Name That Place!
This reading introduces the photic zones and depth zones into which scientists have divided regions of the ocean. The ocean is divided euphotic, disphotic and aphotic light zones and neritic, oceanic and benthic depth zones.

4. Creatures of the Abyss
Students review sunlight-based food webs and how marine snow, or detritus, moves energy and nutrients from shallow waters to the deep sea. Students are introduced to the bizarre animals of the abyss who depend on this marine snow.

5. The Pressure’s On!
This reading describes the tremendous pressures animals experience in the deep sea and explores selected deep sea fish adaptations.

6. Diver Underboard!
Students read about hazards human divers face when exposed to pressures underwater SCUBA diving, like nitrogen narcosis and air embolisms.

7. Glowing in the Dark: Bioluminescence
Students culture bioluminescent bacteria.

8. Marine Bacteriology
Students culture a variety of marine organisms as they learn sterile technique.

9. Symbiosis in the Deep Sea – Three-Level Guide
This journal article introduces students to the chemosynthesis-based food webs of the deep sea hydrothermal vents.

10. Hydrothermal Vent Food Webs
Students assemble a hydrothermal vent food web, connecting chemosynthetic bacteria and other vent organisms.

Unit V: Resources

Activity 1 The Ocean Floor
Construct a globe
Earth globe
Great Circle indicator

Activity 4 Creatures of the Abyss
Deep-sea exploration

Activity 5 The Pressure’s on!
Bathysphere image

Activity 6 Diver Underboard!
Kelp forest images

Activity 7 Glowing in the Dark – Bioluminescence
Bioluminescence resources

Activity 10 Hydrothermal Vent Food Webs
Deep-sea exploration
Vents article
Vent chimneys
Vent exploration
Sea floor exploration

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