Down to the seas again

Resource Info

Basic Information

The seas have inspired, educated, and nourished mankind and acted as an intimate ally in the progress of human civilization. Here are activities that bring the "seas" in to the classroom.

Duration: 
04 hours 00 mins
Introduction: 

The sea offers scope for adventure, recreation and research. Although a class visit to the sea may not always be possible, the topic still opens rich possibilities for discussion and learning.

Objective: 
  1. Students will learn about the products obtained from the sea

  2. Students can understand the weather patterns

  3. Students can get an idea about living organisms and their relationship with the sea.

Activity Steps: 

The seas on the earth have played an important role in shaping the destiny of mankind over the centuries. More than three-fourth of the total area of the earth is covered with the water of the seas, and nearly two-thirds of the world population lives on the sea coast. The sea offers opportunities for scientific research and helps in understanding the relation of the living organisms with their environment.

Eco-systems

The environment of the sea exposes the plants and animals that survive in it to conditions of heat and cold. Most of the living organisms inside the sea have their own defence mechanisms that come into action when threatened by extreme conditions. Seaweeds are thick-skinned and are richly covered with slime. Shore animals have hard, sometimes enveloping shells or they bury themselves in sand.

Sea wealth

A further activity for students can be the listing of all the useful products that we obtain from the sea. For example, fish, pearls, corals, oil, coal, electricity. One of the most important products from the sea is salt, which is an essential ingredient of our food. ‘Salt’ comes from the word ‘salary’, for in ancient Rome, soldiers were partly paid for their services with a ‘salarium’ of salt. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese began to obtain salt by evaporating sea water in wide pans over heat. On an average, a litre of sea-water consists of 35 gms of salt. Children could learn how salt is made. Salt pans are dug in the shore and sea water is pored into the pans and allowed to evaporate. The salt is then cleaned and iodized in a factory. The importance of salt was demonstrated in the Dandi March where Gandhi and other freedom fighters challenged the British rule by breaking the salt laws.

Acquaculture has become a thriving industry. Marine biologists strive to provide new and improved methods to enhance produces from the sea. The sea has to be kept free from all the polluting agents for this. Students can study the pollution on the sea-coast and find suggestions to counter it.

Sea weather

We often hear of tidal waves causing great havoc in seaside villages of towns. The causes for these might be studied and discussed in detail. The fact that tidal waves occur with an earthquake in the vicinity could also be discussed. Similarly, the formation of a low-pressure belt in the sea can also be studied. Students might be given an activity where they are asked to prepare a model showing the effects of the gravitation of the earth and the moon on the sea. Ocean currents, warm and cold, have enormous influence on the world’s weather.

There are a host of other areas into which the sea can be brought either to form a subject of study or to enliven the class activities.

So with the available resources and a little imagination, it is not too difficult to create a stimulating marine environment in the classroom.

Sea-riddles

  • The waves fascinate children. It is easy to believe as one watches the waves roll onto the shore that the water is moving forward. Not so. Although the wind whips up the surface of the sea to create waves, the movement runs through the water and the water in any one place is really moving up and down. Floating objects do not ‘race’ towards the shore but they are passed over from wave to wave and arrive to the shore gradually.

  • A curious occurrence that has held the interest of generation of sea-lovers is related to the life-cycles of the salmon fish. These fish migrate to fresh waters following a particular course to lay their eggs. Once they are finished with their reproduction, they die. However, the young fish which hatch in the rivers follow exactly the same course back to the sea, which their parents had taken.

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