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Grades4 to 12
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Explore plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean at this terrific site. Take a virtual journey on one of the ships that measures and keeps track of marine pollution. You ...more
Explore plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean at this terrific site. Take a virtual journey on one of the ships that measures and keeps track of marine pollution. You will find complete lessons to use in free Google Earth software. There are separate lessons for each grade level 4 through 12. Download PDF Activity Sheets and print for students or students can open the activity sheet on computers and type their responses into the form fields. If you cannot use Google Earth to your school computers, have no fear! Use portions of the lessons online in Google Maps (reviewed here). Voyage files are on Google Maps, and students can access them there. Access the current voyage (2012) through the site's blog. Note that the downloads are "zipped" files you must unzip THEN open in Google Earth or Google Maps. Each placemarker (KML) file has little sailboat icons that open to very detailed information about what was found at that location.
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard and projector to introduce this site and one voyage. Point out all the little sail boat icons. Click to see text and images. Use these lessons as is or adapt for your own use. Consider having students work in groups of four, and have each group explore a different voyage (listed by year). There are a lot of sail boat placemarkers for each voyage. Have the small groups of students investigate the first several days of each voyage together. After that, suggest they split the placemarkers up, take notes about what they learn, and inform each other about what happened on the days they investigated. Once they've investigated their voyage, remix the groups so you have one student from each of the different voyages together. Have them share information and determine what was alike and different for each year. Use a graphic organizer or mind mapping tool such as WiseMapping reviewed here, or Exploratree reviewed here to help students keep track of the information. Once done have students access the additional resources page and click on the comparison mapping button. Have them compare their information to the maps provided. Older students may want to investigate information about careers related to GIS, Conservation, and Marine Biology by using the link at the bottom of the page.
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