UK marine life with Dr Ceri Lewis and Dr Helen Findlay

Lesson overview

99% of the living space of the planet is in the ocean. It is not just far off and tropical seas that have amazing marine life. The seas around the UK are host to a huge variety of life. This lesson uses a virtual ocean for students to explore the diversity, features and adaptations of marine life around the UK.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify marine organisms
  • Match organisms to their habitats
  • Describe the adaptations of some marine organisms

Lesson steps

  1. Mission statement from Dr Ceri Lewis and Dr Helen Findlay (5 mins)
    Students are introduced to the variety of UK marine life by Dr Ceri Lewis and Dr Helen Findlay.
  2. What lives in the sea? (10 mins)
    Students use their own knowledge to share the animals and plants they think live in the sea.
  3. Marine life Thinglink (30 mins)
    Using a virtual sea made with Thinglink, students explore the variety of life in the UK’s seas. Students note the names, habitats and descriptions of UK marine life. Older students can list adaptations and consider how these make each organism suited to its habitat and conditions.
  4. Marine life and habitats (10 mins)
    Students use their learning from this lesson to complete their Marine habitats and life poster from the previous lesson. Older students may also wish to describe the adaptations of select marine organisms.
  5. Reflection (5 mins)
    Students reflect on their learning, considering what they have learnt, what connects to their prior knowledge and what they still want to know.


By task
To support lower ability students, focus on identifying marine organisms and matching them to their habitats. Students should use the appropriately labelled boxes of Student Sheet 3a while they are researching. They can demonstrate their learning using the ‘Example organism’ section of Student Sheet 2c, or the ‘Name’ and ‘Habitat and conditions’ sections of Student Sheet 3b.

To challenge higher ability students, focus on describing the adaptations of organisms. Students should use the appropriate labelled boxes on Student Sheet 3a while they are researching. They can demonstrate their learning in the ‘Adaptation’ section of Student Sheet 3b.

By outcome
The open nature of the research activity (Thinglink Marine life) allows students to access learning at any level.

By support
For ideas of how to support and challenge students further, look for guidance and ideas in the teacher guidance.