TOOLKITS

Schools 1.0

Introduction

This  toolkit was developed for teachers and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 education communities, coastal and inland, across Canada. The aim of this toolkit is to engage learners in ocean education, deepen their awareness of and connection to the ocean, and to inspire action in the classroom community and beyond. It is designed to meet curricular outcomes for numeracy and literacy, sciences and social studies, health and more. This toolkit also incorporates Indigenous and place-based knowledge and provides hands-on learning opportunities for students. Designed to be accessible to both the ocean-enthusiast and to the educator who is taking their first dip, these ready-to-go learning activities and pedagogical strategies will engage students and inspire action in their everyday lives.

Read and use the Ocean Week Canada key messages to help guide your learning journey.

Learning Objectives  

Incorporating ocean-themed resources in your lessons:

  • strengthens students’ knowledge about the global ocean and local waterways
  • raises awareness of the connections between human well-being and the health of the ocean 
  • inspires students to care for and protect marine and aquatic ecosystems, including water resources in their communities
 

Five Central Themes

The activities in this toolkit are organized under five central themes, including: Exploring Relationships, Ocean is Life, Technology, Sustainability, and Ecosystems.

Cyclical Learning

To make the most of this toolkit, we suggest that the curated resources are used for cyclical learning, rather than for linear learning.

What is cyclical learning? Watch this 1 minute animated clip.

Five Central Themes

The activities in this toolkit are organized under five central themes, including: Exploring Relationships, Ocean is Life, Technology, Sustainability, and Ecosystems.

Cyclical Learning

To make the most of this toolkit, we suggest that the curated resources are used for cyclical learning, rather than for linear learning.

What is cyclical learning? Watch this 1 minute animated clip.

 
 
 

Curricular Connection

Explore curricular connections through your provincial/territorial education lens. 

 

Theme 1: Exploring Relationships

Place-based learning, holistic education, and Indigenous teachings all emphasize the importance of developing relationships with the land and sea. Below are four learning resources and activities to help deepen students’ understanding of stewardship and place-based ways of knowing.

 
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Theme 2: Ocean is Life

We are all ocean people no matter where we live. Explore how the arts allow us to express this connection.

 

Marine Garbage Transformed 

What do you do with marine plastic garbage? Tackle this challenge with an optimistic spirit and allow the art of Pete Clarkson to inspire your own classroom of upcycled art projects!

Grade Level: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
LEARN MORE

My Octopus Teacher

Watch the trailer of this touching tale of interspecies friendship, and examine where we, as humans, place ourselves in the natural world. Beautiful underwater cinematography and ocean imagery inspires wonder. To view the full film, Netflix is offering subscribers the opportunity to host educational community screenings free-of-cost.

Download the Discussion Guide. 

Grade Levels: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
WATCH THE TRAILER

Marine Detective

What do beauty and mystery have in common? The ocean of course! These underwater photographs from diver, naturalist, and educator, Jackie Hildering, are sure to instill a sense of wonder for the marine environment. See it first hand with the “Find the Fish Fridays” Instagram challenge.

Grade levels: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
LEARN MORE

Marine Garbage Transformed 

What do you do with marine plastic garbage? Tackle this challenge with an optimistic spirit and allow the art of Pete Clarkson to inspire your own classroom of upcycled art projects!

Grade Level: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw

My Octopus Teacher

Watch the trailer of this touching tale of interspecies friendship, and examine where we, as humans, place ourselves in the natural world. Beautiful underwater cinematography and ocean imagery inspires wonder. To view the full film, Netflix is offering subscribers the opportunity to host educational community screenings free-of-cost.

Download the Discussion Guide. 

Grade Levels: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw

Marine Detective

What do beauty and mystery have in common? The ocean of course! These underwater photographs from diver, naturalist, and educator, Jackie Hildering, are sure to instill a sense of wonder for the marine environment. See it first hand with the “Find the Fish Fridays” Instagram challenge.

Grade levels: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
 

Theme 3: Technology

Understanding the ocean helps us understand the planet. Examine the technologies that reveal many ocean properties and the biodiversity of ocean ecosystems.

 
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Theme 4: Sustainability

The ocean is full of precious resources. Understand your impact and your role in preserving the global ocean’s resources.

 

Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafoods

Taste the ocean and feel good about making sustainable food choices. Explore this collection of resources.

Grade Levels: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
LEARN MORE

The Ocean as a Highway

Discover the importance of the ocean as a main transportation route around the world. The videos and blog on marine shipping in Canada provide an excellent source of information for an exploration of this important topic through an inquiry lense.

Grade Level: Secondary

Photo credit: Ocean Networks Canada
LEARN MORE

Marine Protected Areas of Canada

What do a healthy marine environment and nature-based solutions to address the impacts of climate change have in common? They are the result of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Use this infographic to examine MPAs in Canada.

Grade Level: Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
LEARN MORE

Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafoods

Taste the ocean and feel good about making sustainable food choices. Explore this collection of resources.

Grade Levels: Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw

The Ocean as a Highway

Discover the importance of the ocean as a main transportation route around the world. The videos and blog on marine shipping in Canada provide an excellent source of information for an exploration of this important topic through an inquiry lense.

Grade Level: Secondary

Photo credit: Ocean Networks Canada

Marine Protected Areas of Canada

What do a healthy marine environment and nature-based solutions to address the impacts of climate change have in common? They are the result of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Use this infographic to examine MPAs in Canada.

Grade Level: Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
 

Theme 5: Ecosystems 

Creatures beyond your imagination and secrets of well-known species are revealed in this collection of resources. Explore ecosystems, as well as living organisms.

 

Arctic Marine Atlas

Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas offers a comprehensive look at an environment undergoing dramatic shifts due to climate change. The Atlas describes the ecology of this region within the context of humans’ interaction with the natural world and is a useful resource for understanding the importance of Canada’s Arctic marine environment.

Grade Level: Secondary 

Photo credit: UVic Photo Services
LEARN MORE

The Secret Life of Plankton

New videography techniques have opened up the global ocean’s microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. Marine biologist, Tierney Thys, has used footage from a pioneering project to create a film designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

Grade Level: Middle, Secondary

LEARN MORE

Project WET

Do you want to teach about waterways but don’t know where to start? Are you looking for creative ways to add to your lessons? This collection of lesson plans and activities is an essential resource for educators to explore everything wet!

Grade level:  Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
LEARN MORE

Arctic Marine Atlas

Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas offers a comprehensive look at an environment undergoing dramatic shifts due to climate change. The Atlas describes the ecology of this region within the context of humans’ interaction with the natural world and is a useful resource for understanding the importance of Canada’s Arctic marine environment.

Grade Level: Secondary 

Photo credit: UVic Photo Services

The Secret Life of Plankton

New videography techniques have opened up the global ocean’s microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. Marine biologist, Tierney Thys, has used footage from a pioneering project to create a film designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

Grade Level: Middle, Secondary

Project WET

Do you want to teach about waterways but don’t know where to start? Are you looking for creative ways to add to your lessons? This collection of lesson plans and activities is an essential resource for educators to explore everything wet!

Grade level:  Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Photo credit : Ariane Shaw
 

Connect & Share 

 
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Loop back into other Ocean Week Canada activities