Mapping Marine Ecosystems
Mapping Marine Ecosystems
Students investigate types of marine ecosystems, identify examples of these ecosystems and their characteristics, and locate the ecosystems on a map of the world's oceans.
3 - 8
Oceanography, Biology, Ecology, Earth Science, Geography, Physical Geography
This resource is also available in Spanish.
The ocean supports a great diversity of marine ecosystems, including abyssal plain (deep sea coral, whale fall, brine pool), Antarctic, Arctic, coral reef, deep sea (abyssal water column), hydrothermal vent, kelp forest, mangrove, open ocean, rocky shore, salt marsh, mudflat, and sandy shore. Each ecosystem is comprised of unique physical characteristics and organisms specifically adapted to them. These features distinguish marine ecosystems from one another and determine their distribution throughout the oceans of the world.
Tips & Modifications
As an alternative, provide small groups with printouts of the ecosystem illustrations and have them work together to discuss and match the names and locations of the 12 ecosystems.
What You’ll Need
Materials You Provide
- Butcher paper
- Internet Access: Required
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per small group, Projector, Speakers
- Plug-Ins: Flash
- Computer lab
- Small-group instruction
Using the MapMaker Kit Assembly video as a guide, print, laminate, and assemble the Water Planet Mega Map before starting this activity.
The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.
National Geographic Program
Special thanks to the educators who participated in National Geographic's 2010-2011 National Teacher Leadership Academy (NTLA), for testing activities in their classrooms and informing the content for all of the Ocean: Marine Ecology, Human Impacts, and Conservation resources.
January 22, 2024
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