Teacher Resources

Looking for an activity that will keep your students engaged? MRC’s Teacher Resources provide wonderful lessons covering estuaries, manatees, sea turtles, and other marine life found right in our back yard.


Estuaries

Where Rivers Meet the Sea

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks. A generalized set of scoring rubrics is provided to judge student progress against these performance tasks.
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Just What Are Estuaries?

Estuaries are areas of transition where fresh water and salt water meet.
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One Ocean, Many Estuaries

Look at a globe. What color do you see the most of on the globe’s surface?
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Explore a NERR

It’s your job in this exercise to “adopt” one of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) estuaries.
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Where Rivers Meet the Sea: Activity 1

Research Question: What are estuaries? Did you know that estuaries are interconnected with the world-ocean and major systems on Earth?
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Seasonal Swings

Seasonal Swings

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks. A generalized set of scoring rubrics is provided to judge student progress against these performance tasks.
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NERR and Far

The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System has 28 amazing estuaries (or Reserves) located around the United States.
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A Chilling Effect

Get ready to explore the world of data. Be a data detective and see what interesting facts you can find.
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Seasonal Swings

Research Question: What are the physical (geographic, weather and climate) factors that influence and regulate life in the estuaries?
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Estuary Food Pyramid

Estuary Food Pyramid

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks.
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Food Pyramid (figure)

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Estuary Food Pyramid

Research Question: What role do plants and animals play in the estuary food pyramid?
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Planet Plankton

Planet Plankton

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks.
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A Plethora of Plankton (images)

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Catching Plankton

If you want to make first-hand observations of living plankton taken from your local river or estuary, you have to catch them!
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Magnify Your Plankton!

It’s time to take a closer look at some plankton!
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Planet Plankton

Research Question: What are plankton and why are they important in the estuary?
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Oysters

Data Sheet

Procedure: You will have broken apart and examined your oyster reef sample.
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Oyster Dissection

Maybe it’s a bit late to think about this, but just how does the oyster survive in the intertidal zone?
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Save the Oyster Reef

The Problem: Something is wrong on the island of Wando Fooka. The normally successful local oyster harvesters have seen a reduction in their annual oyster harvest.
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An Ode to the Oyster

Research Question: What is the biological importance of the oyster reef, how are oyster reef
populations threatened, and what can be done to prevent declines in oyster populations?
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Horseshoe Crabs

Hooray for Horseshoe Crabs

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks.
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Hooray for Horseshoe Crabs

Research Question: What are the basic anatomical features of horseshoe crabs that allow them to survive in the estuary environment?
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Sharks

Sharks in the Estuary

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks.
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How to Read a Shark

Sharks are amazing, often misunderstood animals. A shark’s shape and other adaptations in the shark’s body provide important clues as to where that species of shark lives, how it hunts, what it eats, and the role it plays in its ecosystem.
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Sharks in the Estuary

Research Question: What are the basic characteristics of sharks that allow sharks to survive in the ever changing estuary environment?
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Birds

Estuary Bird Cards (Teacher Master)
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Bountiful Birds

Research Question: How have birds adapted to survive in estuary habitats?
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Jubilee Phenomenon

The Jubilee Phenomenon

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks.
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Come Study the Jubilee

It’s a jubilee! Each summer, Alabama residents who live near Mobile Bay eagerly
await jubilee events.
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Layered Water in the Estuary

The water in Mobile Bay, while shallow, tends to be in layers. Fresh water coming from the rivers does not contain a lot of salt. That means the fresh water is less dense than the saltier ocean water from the Gulf or even the brackish water already in the estuary.
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How to Read the Graphs

Use the following to explain key features of the three graphs used by students in this exercise.
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The Jubilee Phenomenon

Research Question
What is a “Jubilee” and what specific conditions must be present for a jubilee event to occur?
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Mangroves

Migrating Mangroves and Marshes

Each activity in the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum is designed around specific performance tasks.
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What Lives in Mangrove and Salt Marsh Habitats?

Are you likely to find a polar bear hunting for seals in the warm coastal waters off of Hawaii? No!
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Mapping Mangroves

The black mangroves on Harbor Island, Texas are growing at the northern limit of their range. They can’t survive any farther north because they are not adapted to the freezing temperatures that occur more frequently there.
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Migrating Mangroves and Marshes

Research Question: What do research and long-term monitoring reveal about changes in estuary habitats and the animals adapted to live in those habitats?
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Right Whales

Right Whale Anatomy and Characteristics

1-page fact, labeling, and coloring sheet.
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Right Whale Anatomy and Characteristics Answer Key

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Right Whale Coloring Page

1-page coloring sheet.
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Right Whale Friend or Foe Activity Page

right whale friend or foe activity page.pdf
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Right Whale Friend or Foe Activity Page Answer Key.pdf

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Right Whale Photo Identification

1-page identification sheet.
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Right Whale Photo Identification

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Right Whale Sudoku

1-page Sudoko activity. Color.
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Right Whale Sudoku Answer Key

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Right Whale Vocabulary Match-Up

1-page activity to match right whale terms with the correct picture.
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Right Whale Vocabulary Match-Up Answer Key

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Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles of Florida

4-page fact and activity booklet. Colorable.
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Make a Loggerhead Turtle

Create and decorate a loggerhead turtle out of a paper plate.
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Sea Turtles and Lights Word Find

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Sea Turtles and Lights Word Find Answer Key

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Activity Books

All About Alligators

16-page coloring and information booklet
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Be Floridian Now Coloring Book

16-page coloring and information booklet
Be Floridian Now Coloring Book.pdf
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Conservacion de Agua Workbook

18-page coloring and information booklet. In Spanish.
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Florida’s History Coloring Book

26-page coloring book with a map and scenes from Florida’s past.
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Indian River Lagoon Coloring Book

60-page coloring book featuring IRL wildlife in an A–Z format.
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River Kidz Activity Book

40-page book of facts and activities. Color.
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Manatee Activity Book

20-page activity book and coloring book.
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Marine Life Children’s Activity Book

16-page book of facts and activities. Color.
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Amazing Oysters: An Educational Activity for Children

4-page pop-up diarama activity. Colorable.
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What’s Wrong with this Picture?

2-page activity sheet with a nature theme. Colorable.
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