Dive Into the Blue with this collection of free ocean-themed teaching plans, activities and resources 

Cristy Burne 

Remember the first time you spotted a fish swimming in the ocean? Or the fun of jumping waves? Or that full-body shiver as you plunge into the chilly, salty sea? A child’s emotional connection to nature is a vital and revitalising superpower – and I want to grow it whenever I can. 

Our oceans are home to incredibly wonderous life and beauty; plus they’re the lungs and lunchbox of our planet. They’re also a wild place where kids can encounter risk and experience nature’s power and beauty. As an author, I want to share my love for our oceans – and all our wild places – with the next generation. That’s why I’ve set my next junior fiction adventure, Into the Blue, on the wreck of the Omeo, on Perth’s Coogee Beach.  

To help spread the ocean love (after all, it’s a planet-wide affair!), I’ve collected some free, ocean-themed resources produced by awesome, ocean-loving organisations. Check them out for activities linked to curriculum, including teaching plans, classroom resources, videos, games, crafts and more. 

Maybe there’ll be something you can use to celebrate SeaWeek https://www.facebook.com/seaweekaustralia  (in 2024, SeaWeek is 2-10 March), or perhaps there’s an idea for World Ocean Day (8 June), or maybe you can talk to your school about Adopting A Beach https://www.perthnrm.com/project/adopt-a-beach/.  

Here are some of my favourite (and free) resources: 

  • The Great Southern Reef spans 8,000 kilometres from Kalbarri down to Bremer Bay and Esperance, as well as across southern Australia and up to the New South Wales/Queensland border. You can find out more about this iconic reef thanks to a huge variety of resources available at  https://greatsouthernreef.com/resources. Find everything from an entire Year 9 Science + Sustainability and Aboriginal History & Culture unit, to a deck of Pokémon-inspired marine life cards for use in food webs and classification activities. 
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium have a whole lot of awesome activities – they’re aligned to the US curriculum, but there’s tons here to use in any classroom: downloadable games and crafts, free online courses, videos and even parent-led activities to try at home. Bonus: lots of the material is also available in Spanish. https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/for-educators/learning-at-home 
  • Want more, more, more? Check out Cool.org (https://cool.org/) for more free and searchable lesson plans on everything you can imagine. Love it! 

I hope these ideas have been helpful – and I’d love to see what you do with them. Please share your work and your students’ work with us on socials. It’s exciting and inspiring to see what you create!  

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