Environmental Science Unit: Marine Biomes, Wetlands, & Water Pollution

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
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107 pages + 42 PPT slides
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  1. This bundle contains 6 weeks' worth of lessons, labs, and field activities to introduce your high school students to aquatic ecosystems, surface water, groundwater, marine biomes, and water pollution. Choices are integrated into the unit to provide options for teaching and learning in a variety of
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  2. These environmental lesson plans will help your students to take charge of their learning! This comprehensive course is interactive, hands-on, and student-centered! Students learn about major environmental issues in modern society through detailed lessons and activities. Units cover the four sphe
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This comprehensive set of lessons and activities will introduce your students to the topics of land use and sustainability in regard to urbanization, agriculture, and forestry. Human impacts on the environment are interwoven through each lesson to provide students with a good basis for any environmental science or APES course. A PowerPoint, guided notes, web-quests, doodle notes, activities, extension pages, and assessments are all included in this lesson. All student pages come in both PRINT and DIGITAL versions for efficient use in class or through distance learning.


What's included?

-10 Teacher Planning Pages (standards document, editable daily pacing guide, differentiation ideas for student interest, ability, and learning environment)

-1 PowerPoint (42 editable slides- highly visual and fully animated)

-5 pages of Cornell Notes (both fill-in-the-blank and editable versions included)

-2 web-quests with corresponding student pages for independent learning

-2 pages of my popular Doodle Notes(TM) and a guide to using them in your classroom

-7 Activities:

  • Group Discussion: Commercial Fishing & Aquaculture
  • Research a Fish Project
  • Oil Spill Clean-up Simulation Lab
  • Effects of Oil on Marine Life Research Activity
  • Sources of Water Pollution Card Sorting Activity
  • Water Quality Testing Lab (outdoors)
  • Group Activity: Wetland Mitigation (outdoors)

-6 Extension Pages:

  • 2 Digging Deeper extensions for critical thinking: Coral Bleaching, Microplastics
  • 3 Data Analysis extensions to practice interpretation of graphs & math integration: Photosynthesis in the Oceans, Maximum Sustainable Yield, Mismanaged Plastic
  • 1 Case Study: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

-1 quiz through Google Forms for automatic online grading

-24 editable task cards for a quick and easy unit review

-Editable unit test with multiple-choice and short answer questions (in both honors and regular versions)

-Supplementary Resource Ideas: links and videos for additional explanation or exploration

-Answer keys and grading rubrics for all student pages

What topics are included in this unit?

Marine Biomes

  • Types of aquatic biomes (saltwater, freshwater, estuaries)
  • Adaptations for the intertidal zone
  • Ocean productivity and nutrients in ocean food webs
  • Ocean zones (euphotic, disphotic, aphotic)
  • Light penetration in ocean
  • Oil spills and clean-up methods
  • Aquaculture v. Fishing, maximum sustainable yield
  • Coral bleaching

Wetlands & Water Pollution

  • Water Quality
  • Point-source v. nonpoint-source pollution
  • Microplastic pollution
  • Oxygen sag curve and nutrient pollution
  • Effects of pollution on aquatic ecosystems (thermal pollution, sediment pollution, nutrient pollution, chemical pollution, biological pollution)
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Bioaccumulation v. biomagnification
  • Bioassays and LD50
  • Characteristics of wetlands
  • Environmental benefits of wetlands

The unit is aligned to NGSS and many state standards. If you’d like to know whether your state standards are covered, you can send me an email at support@suburbanscience.com.

NGSS addressed in this unit: HS-ESS2-2, HS-ESS2-7, HS-ESS3-1, HS-ESS3-2, HS-ESS3-3, HS-ESS3-4, HS-ESS3-6, HS-ETS1-1, HS-ETS1-2, HS-ETS1-3, HS-ETS1-4, HS-LS2-3, HS-LS2-5, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-6. Additional details on standards are included in the teacher planning pages of this course.


*For more details about the specific topics and items included, please see my PREVIEW.*

Where can I find other Environmental Science lessons?

Intro to Environmental Science

Biosphere Unit 1: Ecology, Food webs, and Symbiosis

Biosphere Unit 2: Species and Population Ecology

Biosphere Unit 3: World Biomes, Ecological Succession, and Biodiversity

Atmosphere: Weather, Wind, and Biogeochemical Cycles

Geosphere Unit 1: Plate Tectonics and Landforms

Geosphere Unit 2: Minerals, Mining, and Soil

Geosphere Unit 3: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy

Hydrosphere Unit 1: Surface Water, Groundwater, and the Water Cycle

Hydrosphere Unit 2: Marine Biomes and Water Pollution

Land Use & Sustainability

Or get the Full Environmental Science Curriculum which includes all these units!

What curriculum could I use with this lesson?

This lesson is ideally geared toward high school students and would work well with a general-level Environmental Science or Biology textbook. It addresses the following topics in AP Environmental Science (APES):

  • 1.3: Aquatic Biomes
  • 1.19: Trophic Levels
  • 5.1: Tragedy of the Commons
  • 5.8: Impacts of Overfishing
  • 5.12: Introduction to Sustainability
  • 5.16: Aquaculture
  • 8.1: Solutions to Pollution
  • 8.2: Human Impacts on Ecosystems
  • 8.3: Endocrine Disruptors
  • 8.4: Human Impacts on Wetlands and Mangroves
  • 8.5: Eutrophication
  • 8.6: Thermal Pollution
  • 8.7: Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • 8.8: Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification
  • 8.11: Sewage Treatment
  • 8.12: Lethal Dose 50% (LD50)
  • 8.14: Pollution and Human Health
  • 9.6: Ocean Warming
  • 9.7: Ocean Acidification

Can I edit these resources to fit my needs?

Some of the files in this unit are editable. The text on the PowerPoints, Cornell Notes, and task cards is all editable so you can adjust the level of content and wording. The pacing guide, printable unit tests, and online quizzes through Google Forms™ are all fully editable. Web-quests, activities, extension pages, and any images included in this unit are in non-editable PDF formats to protect my intellectual property rights and those of the illustrators whose images I’ve purchased for use in this resource.


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Total Pages
107 pages + 42 PPT slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Emphasis is on conceptual understanding of the role of aerobic and anaerobic respiration in different environments. Assessment does not include the specific chemical processes of either aerobic or anaerobic respiration.
Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. Examples of human activities can include urbanization, building dams, and dissemination of invasive species.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. Examples of models could include simulations and mathematical models. Assessment does not include the specific chemical steps of photosynthesis and respiration.


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