Major Funding The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

Oceans: Standards

Idaho Common Core State Standards

Here are correlations to the National Common Core Language and Math standards and to the Idaho State Science Standards. If you'd like, you may go directly to the Idaho science standards for this topic. For more information about the overall standards, see the complete Idaho Content Standards for Science, the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core Language standards, or the Common Core Math standards.


First Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.4 [CCSS page]

Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Suggested Lessons

Using the book "Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef" by Marianne Berkes, read and discuss the adjectives. Acting out the adjectives helps students experience them in a real-world way using their body and their senses.

Fourth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.5 [CCSS page]

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Suggested Lessons

Find similes and metaphors related to the ocean, water, waves, or sea life and share them aloud. For a lesson plan related to this activity you may like: As Slippery as an Eel: An Ocean Unit Exploring Simile and Metaphor

Fifth Grade

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1 [CCSS page]

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

Suggested Lessons

Have students write opinion paragraphs concerning ocean pollution, wave energy or mining resources from the ocean. Have students research their topics before forming their opinions. Pair up students to argue their positions.



CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4 [CCSS page]

Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.

Suggested Lessons

Using toy fish or fish crackers, count the number of creatures a student can collect in their hand in one grab. Provide an ocean mat to give the impression of an ocean ecosystem while counting them.

Third Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.A.1 [CCSS page]

Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g. interpret 5 x 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 x 7.

Suggested Lessons

Create flashcards of arrays using commercially made sea life stickers or clipart. Or have students create arrays using the same concept. When using stickers or clipart, be sure to use identical images per array, as different sized images might not always line up in perfect columns.

Fifth Grade

CCSS.Math.Content.5.G.A.2 [CCSS page]

Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation.

Suggested Lessons

Create an independent learning activity by placing sea life stickers on intersecting lines of graph paper. Have students identify the numbered pairs that correspond to the stickers' locations. For example: Identify the numbered pairs for the seahorse, the shark, or the dolphin, etc.



Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-K-1 [ICS page]

Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.

Supporting Content:

Living things need resources, and they live in places that have the things they need. Plants, animals, and their surroundings make up a system.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-K-3 [ICS page]

Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

Supporting Content:

Things that people do can affect the world around them. But they can make choices that reduce their impacts on the land, water, air, and other living things.

Life Sciences: LS1-K-1 [ICS page]

Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Supporting Content:

Examples of patterns could include that all animals need food in order to live and grow, and the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals. Animals obtain their food from plants or from other animals.

First Grade

Life Sciences: LS1-1-3 [ICS page]

Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles, but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

Supporting Content:

Changes animals go through during their life form a pattern.

Second Grade

Life Sciences: LS2-2-1 [ICS page]

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Supporting Content:

There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. The emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS1-2-1 [ICS page]

Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Supporting Content:

Some events happen very quickly; others occur very slowly, over a time period much longer than one can observe. An example is the erosion of rocks by water, which occurs slowly.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-2-1 [ICS page]

Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

Supporting Content:

Wind and water can change the shape of the land. Examples of solutions could include different designs of dikes to hold back water, and different designs for using shrubs, grass, and trees to hold back the land. Because there is always more than one possible solution to a problem, it is useful to compare and test designs.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-2-2 [ICS page]

Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.

Supporting Content:

Maps show where things are located. One can map the land and water in any area.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-2-3 [ICS page]

Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid, liquid or gas.

Supporting Content:

Water is found in the ocean, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Water exists as solid ice and in liquid form.

Third Grade

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS1-3-[ICS page]

Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

Supporting Content:

Climate describes a range of an area's typical weather conditions.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-3-1 [ICS page]

Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduced the impacts of a weather-related natural hazard.

Supporting Content:

A variety of natural hazards result from natural processes. Humans cannot eliminate natural hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts. An examples of design solutions to a natural hazard could include barriers to prevent flooding.

Life Sciences: LS1-3-1 [ICS page]

Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

Supporting Content:

Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes. Groups may serve different functions and vary dramatically in size.

Fourth Grade

Physical Sciences: PS2-4-1 [ICS page]

Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move.

Supporting Content:

Waves, which are regular patterns of motion, can be made in water by disturbing the surface. When waves move across the surface of deep water, the water goes up and down in place; there is no net motion in the direction of the wave except when the water meets a beach.

Life Sciences: LS1-4-1 [ICS page]

Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Supporting Content:

Animals have various body systems with specific functions for sustaining life: skeletal, circulatory. respiratory, muscular, digestive, etc.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS1-4-1 [ICS page]

Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers for changes in a landscape over time to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

Supporting Content:

Examples of evidence from patterns could include rock layers with marine shell fossils above rock layers with plant layers and no shells, indicating a change from land to water over time.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-4-2 [ICS page]

Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth's features.

Supporting Content:

Maps can include topographic maps of Earth's land and ocean floor. The locations of mountain ranges, deep ocean trenches, ocean floor structures, earthquakes, and volcanoes occur in patterns. Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the boundaries between continents and oceans.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-4-1 [ICS page]

Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

Supporting Content:

Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources, and their use affects the environment in multiple ways. Some energy resources are renewable over time, and others are not. Examples of renewable energy could include wind and wave energy; non-renewable energy resources include fossil fuels.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-4-2 [ICS page]

Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

Supporting Content:

A variety of hazards result from natural process, (e.g. earthquakes, tsunamis.) Humans cannot eliminate the hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts. Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions.

Fifth Grade

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-5-1 [ICS page]

Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

Supporting Content:

Earth's major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes. The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-5-2 [ICS page]

Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.

Supporting Content:

Nearly all of Earth's available water is in the ocean.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-5-1 [ICS page]

Support, obtain, and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment.

Supporting Content:

Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have effects on the land, vegetation, rivers and oceans. Individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth's resources and environment.

Life Sciences: LS2-5-3 [ICS page]

Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Supporting Content:

Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the animals and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

Life Sciences LS2-5-4 [ICS page]

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

Supporting Content:

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there. Examples of environmental changes could include changes in temperature, water distribution, and other organisms. When the environment changes in ways that affect a place's temperature, characteristics, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.

Sixth Grade/Middle School

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-MS-3 [ICS page]

Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of past plate motions.

Supporting Content:

Maps of ancient land and water patterns make clear how Earth's plates have moved great distances, collided, and spread apart. Examples of data include the shapes of the continents (including continental shelves), and the locations of ocean structures (such as ridges, fracture zones, and trenches).

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-MS-4 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.

Supporting Content:

Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land. Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity. Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS2-MS-6 [ICS page]

Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.

Supporting Content:

The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns. The ocean exerts a major influence on weather and climate by absorbing energy from the sun, releasing it over time, and globally redistributing it through ocean current. Variations in density due to variations in temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents. Emphasis of ocean circulation is on the transfer of heat by the global ocean convection cycle, which is constrained by the Coriolis effect and the outlines of continents.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-MS-2 [ICS page]

Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.

Supporting Content:

Examples of natural hazards can be taken from interior processes (such as earthquakes), surface processes (such as tsunamis), or severe weather events (such as hurricanes). Examples of data can include the locations, magnitudes, and frequencies of the natural hazards. Examples of technologies can be global (such as satellite systems to monitor hurricanes) or local.

Earth and Space Sciences: ESS3-MS-3 [ICS page]

Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Supporting Content:

Human activities can have consequences (negative and positive) on the environment, sometimes altering natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. Examples of human impacts can include water usage, land usage, and pollution (such as of the air, water, or land). Technology and engineering can potentially mitigate impacts on Earth's systems as both human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase. Examples of the design process include examining human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-1 [ICS page]

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

Supporting Content:

Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. Emphasis is on cause and effect relationships between resources and growth of individual organisms and the numbers of organisms in ecosystems during periods of abundant and scarce resources.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-2 [ICS page]

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

Supporting Content:

Emphasis is on predicting consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments are shared.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-3 [ICS page]

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Supporting Content:

Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the water in aquatic environments.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-5 [ICS page]

Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Supporting Content:

Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.

Life Sciences: LS2-MS-6 [ICS page]

Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Supporting Content:

Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth's terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem's biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. Changes in biodiversity can influence humans' resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on. There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations.

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