What’s Deep in the Ocean?

What’s Deep in the Ocean? lesson plan

The ocean’s surface really is just the tip of the iceberg! Oceanographers have found amazing creatures that adapt to drastic underwater conditions.

  • 1.

    How much of the ocean is unexplored? 98%! Oceanographers study the ocean’s size, biology, resources, and so much more. Scientists have labeled different depth zones. Each zone has unique characteristics such as water temperature, amount of light, and creatures who live there. Discover all you can about the depths of the ocean. Then make this wallhanging to show what you’ve learned.

  • 2.

    Divide wax paper (a bit longer than three sheets of construction paper) into zones with Crayola Markers. At the top is the sunlight zone, followed by the twilight, and then the midnight zones.

  • 3.

    Leave a little blank space at the top. Write information about each zone, such as depth from the surface or water pressure (which is 100 times greater in the Twilight Zone than on the Earth’s surface).

  • 4.

    On the back of each zone, attach paper with a Crayola Glue Stick (for example, place light blue paper behind the sunlight zone). Illustrate sea animals and plants found within each zone. Capture their colors and any bioluminescence.

  • 5.

    Shape Crayola Model Magic into small sea creatures. You might make a jellyfish’s tentacles or a snipe eel’s tail. Sculpt an oceanographer’s boat from Model Magic. Air-dry the sculptures. Decorate them with washable markers if you wish. Use Crayola School

  • 6.

    Color a cardboard roll. Wrap and glue the blank top of the wax paper around the tube. Glue the boat to the tube as if it were floating on the ocean surface. Air-dry the glue.

  • 7.

    Punch a hole at either end of the tube and attach a chenille stem through each hole. Join them to form a hanger. Or thread a ribbon through the tube.


  • Students learn about the different ocean zones and the various aspects that characterize each zone including flora and fauna as well as the chemical and physical sciences.
  • Students reproduce the features of each zone graphically.
  • Students unify their understanding in a hanging display.


  • Research the different ways oceanographers have studied the ocean. What were the earliest submersibles like? Now they can descend at a rate of 30.5 m (100 ft) per minute.
  • Make a list of the adaptations that appear in living things as one descends deeper into the ocean (jaws get larger, stomachs expand, and bioluminescent features dominate). Explain the reasons behind each adaptation.
  • Write a play or radio drama about life in the abyss, the zone past 3,900 m (13,000 ft). Include historical and literary references.
  • Assessment: Evaluate the accuracy of the information presented. How fully is the topic covered?