Wherever we live, whether in a large city or close to a sandy beach, we all depend on the oceans. From the frozen ice caps of the polar regions to the warm waters of the tropical coral reefs, from deep sea vents to shallow seagrass beds, the oceans contain the greatest diversity of life on Earth. They are home to the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth – the blue whale – and to the tiny krill that it eats. Globally, over 700 million people depend on fishing for their livelihoods on our planet, and fish and seafood are the main source of protein for more than a billion of us. But the oceans provide far more than food. They give us oxygen to breathe and, through their role in the water cycle, water to drink. The oceans also absorb greenhouse gas emissions and additional heat. Yet our seas are under threat. If we carry on as we do now, fish and seafood could be overfished, habitats such as coral reefs will suffer, as will the marine life that depends on them, and there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. So this week we will be focusing on plastic pollution; who has tried to help heal the oceans and how we can all help too!
Today's lesson will be discussing an important question, ‘Why do the oceans matter?'
(Fact sheets will be added below to support learning)
Begin by asking each other about what the ocean means to them and discuss. Questions might include:
Have they ever visited the sea, and if not, would they like to?
What did they do at the seaside?
Have they ever travelled across the sea or been on a boat trip?
Have you ever been in an ocean?
Have you ever seen any animals which live in the seas and oceans?
If we overfish the seas then they will not be able to give us as much food to eat and other species will suffer too?
You may want to draw some examples this may include swimming, building sandcastles, going on a boat, exploring rockpools, eating fish and chips, fishing etc ( which you might be lucky to experience if the weather improves!)
Using the ‘Why do the oceans matter?’ fact sheet below (which contains additional facts) can you add five new facts to what you discussed?
Activity: Draw a poster calling on people to protect the seas and oceans. You could choose to illustrate one of the facts from the fact sheet and think of a catchy slogan to go with it or use one of your own ideas.
Tuesday & Wednesday
Over the next two days we will be looking at the effects of plastic pollution and ask what is plastic pollution? Using the power point below it goes through and explains what plastic pollution is and the effect it is having on the seas, oceans and wildlife who live in these areas. It then goes on further and raises questions about how is plastic pollution handled in different parts of the world, do the different continents try different measures? Thus, with all these questions being raised there are questions and recommended countries to look at and investigate using the internet. The power point also includes website links to look at. In addition to this, the activity sheet allows you to answer some key questions on plastic pollution and if you are up for the challenge an activity to write to our local politician discussing and explaining your ideas and concerns.
Thursday & Friday
For the last two days of the week we would like you to look at up and coming young inventors, especially Boyan Slat, who have tried and succeeded at helping the plastic pollution our seas and oceans face today. Below you find video links to watch what these people have invented and how they have done it. Using your learning from the week we would then like you to design your own invention which you think would help in the war against plastic. You can use the sheet below or draw it on a much bigger scale if you have the paper or even better you could try and make a 3D model of it. Even better than that you could make a video presentation of your invention, explaining how it works, how much it would cost to make, where in the world you would use it first and how quickly it would work, just to name a few ideas. The challenge level is up to you!
I would love to send some of your designs to the social media page of 'The Ocean Cleanup' founded by Boyan Slat.