Ocean Zones Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn about the characteristics of the different ocean zones.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

The earth, with its vast expanses of ocean, has not always looked the way it does today. Over millions of years the land masses have MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "Zoning In" is a good one for the first slide? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Ask students why they think it might be difficult to get information about the deepest zones in the ocean. Remind them that divers can only go to great depths when they are protected inside a pressurized deep-sea submersible.
  2. Write about it: Ask students which ocean zone they would prefer: the sunlit zone or the abyss? Then have them write a paragraph explaining their preference.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on oceans.


Ocean Zones Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to oceans by using each defined word in a sentence.



Ocean Food Chain Reading Comprehension
Grade: 5 - 6
A reading passage and comprehension questions about the ocean food chain.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Ocean

Discover the watery world covering most of the Earth—and the amazing wildlife in its depths.

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