Introduction to Ocean Zones

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In this activity, learners will create a diagram of the ocean zones and determine what organisms live in each zone. Learners will draw the appropriate scale to demark meters (and conversion to feet) from 0-6000m and draw the zones that correspond to the geological structures of the ocean basin. Finally, learners will use their critical thinking skills to determine where in the ocean each organism lives and place the organism in the habitat that is within the limitations for survival.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A large butcher or poster type paper, measuring 12' x 6', or whatever size fits the room
  • Multicolor markers, crayons, colored pencils, or sharpies
  • Tape for hanging the diagram
  • Large meter stick
  • Pictures of marine life from different depths that are glued onto cardboard or some other sturdy paper
  • Double sided tape


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • COSEE West


  • All rights reserved, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, 2012

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0827983
  • National Science Foundation, 0828142
  • National Science Foundation, 0827953
  • NOAA National Sea Grant
  • Office of Naval Research
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration