Oceanography Resource Guide for Water Studies

Written by Don Huie

Did you know that more than two thirds of Earth's surface is covered with water? Humankind has studied ocean tides, currents, and winds for thousands of years. In ancient times, sailors made maps of safe sailing routes and good places to drop nets for fishing. Explorers and scientists throughout human history have understood the how important it is to learn more about the bodies of water that play such an important part in our lives. But sailing over the waves is not the same as learning what is underneath the surface. Like space, oceans remain a largely unexplored frontier. There are many things we can learn by studying what oceans have to teach us, and oceanographers are on the front line of that adventure.

The study of oceanography is divided into five branches. Biological oceanography is the study of plants and animals that live in the ocean and their individual habitats. Chemical oceanography keeps track of changes in the ocean's chemistry. Geological oceanographers can help us learn more about how to plan for catastrophic events like tsunamis. Physical oceanography is the study of waves, currents, and tides, and it also contributes to our ability to predict weather. And paleoceanographers study the history of oceans, which can help us to understand the effects of climate change.

The Marine Biome

The marine biome is made up of the world's oceans, and it's home to lots of different plants and animals that live at different depths and in different places.

Ocean Habitats K-2 Lesson Plan

Watch webcams of sea creatures at an aquarium and learn about their lives in kelp forests and on coral reefs with this lesson plan.

NOAA and the Octonauts

Watch a video to go aboard a ship and see how people protect our oceans in real life, then print and color info cards about different sea creatures.

Which Shark Are You?

Take this silly personality quiz to find out whether you are more like a hammerhead or a whale shark and to learn more about sharks.

The Deepest Part of the Ocean

Watch this video from SciShow Kids to learn about the Mariana Trench and the weird creatures that live there!

Ocean Impacts: How Do Humans Affect the Ocean?

This lesson plan can help you learn about how people can hurt and help sea life.

Go With the Flow

Play this fun game to learn about ocean currents by guiding a submarine toward a key to unlock a treasure chest.

A Whaling Voyage

Learn about how sailors keep track of where they are and get where they want to go and how currents affect a ship's route with this lesson plan.

13 Fascinating Facts About the World's Oceans

Did you know that the biggest waterfall in the world is actually underwater? It sounds weird, but it's true!

How Much Ocean?

Use this worksheet to figure out how much of Earth's surface is covered by water.

Splash and Bubbles: Ocean Guide

Find out about different kinds of ocean life by clicking through this guide from PBS Kids.

Open Ocean Food Web

This lesson plan can teach you how all of the animals and plants in the ocean rely on each other to survive.

Ducks in the Flow: Where Did They Go?

Read this story about rubber ducks to learn about ocean currents and how they can move things from place to place.

Anglerfish Coloring Page

Print out and color a picture of an anglerfish, a type of fish that lives deep in the ocean.

Spooky Science: Unexplained Sounds From the Deep

Scientists have sometimes heard weird sounds in the ocean that they can't identify for certain.

The World Ocean

This lesson plan explores all of the different oceans and how all of the world's oceans are connected.

Gulf of Maine Coloring Book

Color in and learn about lots of different sea creatures that live in and around the Gulf of Maine, from kelp to sea stars to oysters to cod.

Oceans Quiz

How much do you know about the ocean? Take this quiz to find out.

Sea Turtles Coloring Book

This coloring book includes detailed descriptions in both English and Hawaiian of each type of sea turtle shown.

Watery Word Scramble

Have fun while learning about our water supply with this worksheet.

A New Home for an Old Friend

If you have a pet fish that you can't take care of anymore, you might think that you can just release it into the nearest body of water, but the truth is that putting a fish into a place where it doesn't belong can be harmful.

Pacific Pals Activity Sheets

Print out this packet and you'll find fun games and activities about sea life as well as plenty of things to color.

Quiz Yourself on Oceans

Test what you know about oceans with this fun quiz!

High-Tech Ocean Health Guardians

Discover how advanced technologies and coding initiatives are revolutionizing ocean conservation while exploring innovative projects dedicated to keeping our oceans clean and thriving.