Oceans - useful websites and teaching ideas

The Ocean

All key stages

This interactive page includes units on historical geographical understandings of the oceans, the ocean and climate, how the ocean formed, seafloor geomorphology, ocean currents, people and the ocean, global shipping routes and overfishing and pollution.

ESRI has also developed an app for users to gain a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems.

List of oceanographic institutions and programs

Key stage 3 - post-16

The Wikipedia page provides links to the world’s largest oceanographic institutes and programmes, including information about the projects they are undertaking. This comprises of live undersea webcams, videos, maps and statistical information, and includes data about changes in the nature of the oceans over time and the relationship between oceans and weather, other global systems and human impact.

Ocean Watch

National Oceanography Society
Key stage 4-5

Ocean Watch is part of the website of the UK National Oceanic Centre with links to many other oceanographic related sites and research such as the Plymouth Maritime Laboratory, which has details of a number of other research projects including air-sea gas exchange; ecosystem modelling and marine biochemical cycles. The site features an interactive map to other research projects including the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which shows how water circulates and mixes as it moves across the oceans, how this is measured and how it relates to our own climate. The site can be supplemented with YouTube videos to explain how and why the process occurs, for example:

Teaching ideas
Students can investigate the nature of the ocean currents, their pathways and their impact on different parts of the world.

Coral Reefs

Australian Institute of Marine Science
Key stage 4-5

This website provides links to marine science in Australia providing research data, data and media materials. It also has links to undersea webcams. It is a particularly strong source of information about the ecosystem and sensitivities of the Great Barrier Reef and explains how the reef as a habitat is changing and why.

Teaching ideas
Students can investigate the nature of barrier and other reefs and how these are changing and why. Students may wish to investigate the possible solutions to the demise of the reefs.

Additional information and resources on Coral Reefs
For more information about Corals read: Coral Moves North to Beat the Heat by Seeker. Investigate Coral Reefs using GIS with this website to view the locations of Coral Reefs, Coral diseases, Reefs at risk and more.

There are more useful websites and lesson Powerpoint resources linked from this Oceans on the Edge forum page. Some links no longer work but the Powerpoints available to download are an excellent teaching resource nonetheless.

Frozen Oceans activity ideas

Frozen Oceans
Key stage 1-4

The Frozen Oceans education programme is based on the research expeditions of the Catlin Arctic Survey 2009-11. Braving temperatures of -40°C, marine biologists, oceanographers and explorers camped on the frozen sea ice and undertook transect surveys to collect data on the changes occurring in the region. Digital Explorer has developed full enquiry-based schemes of work for Primary, KS3 and GCSE geography that incorporate the scientists’ experiences and research.

The Frozen Oceans resources include booklets with structured lesson plans, activity and experiment sheets, along with posters and other related resources.

Journal articles

Geography: Updating our understanding of climate in the North Atlantic: the role of global warming and the Gulf Stream

Comment on this page

Comments made by GA members appear instantly and don't require security words to be entered - make sure you're logged in! Guest comments will be sent to a moderator for approval.

Join the GA

For professional journals, huge discounts on publications and CPD and online access to member only resources.

Join now
  • Become a geography examiner
  • Cambridge International Examinations
Receive our email newsletters

Sign up to our email newsletter for all the latest news and updates throughout the year.