Map That Habitat

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Historically, sea floor mapping (bathymetry) was done by soundings. Soundings are taken by dropping a weight with a pre-measured rope off the side of the boat and noting the measurement on the rope when the weight hits the bottom. In this activity, learners create bathymetric maps by taking soundings of simulated ocean landscapes. This activity can be used as part of a larger unit on the ocean. Also, learners can create their own landscapes to be mapped.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
    • Technology
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Goetz, Kimberly ; Stovall, Jonelle ; Sanderson, Melissa ; Kerkering, Heather

Source Collection

  • TeachEngineering


  • All rights reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, 2013