Ocean Activities: The Ocean Zones

OceanUnit-Zones2The ocean is divided into different layers. The zones differ in temperature, water pressure and available nutrients.  Marine organisms live in different zones according to the amount of sunlight that reaches there.

Sunlight Zone: More than 90% of marine life lives in the Sunlight Zone.

Twilight Zone: Animals that live in the twilight zone must be able to survive cold temperatures, an increase in water pressure and dark waters. There are no plants in this zone, because there is not enough light for photosynthesis. Some animals that live in this zone make their own light with bioluminescence.

Midnight Zone: No sunlight reaches this zone. It is very cold and the water pressure is high. Animals in this zone tend to be translucent or white. Many of the creatures these creatures survive by eating organic material which drifts down through the depths. Others actually feed off the earth itself, consuming bacteria produced from the methane and sulfides seeping through the ocean floor.

Trench Zone: These are the deepest trenches in the ocean. This zone is found from 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) to the bottom of the ocean. Most life is sustained by marine snow or chemical reactions around hydrothermal vents.

 We talked about the ocean zones in quite some depth. Then we went on to talk about the different animals that live in each zone.
Below is a picture of the original activity I made for the kids, but I couldn’t share it publicly because I wasn’t sure of the copyright status of some of the pictures I used. Recently, I made new animal sorting cards for the ocean zones and that is now available.
Ocean Zone Sorting Activity
Layers of the Ocean Animal Cards

Animals of the different Ocean Zone Layers:

  • Sunlight Zone – Blue Marlin, Sperm Whale, Grey Reef Shark, Plankton, plankton, sea stars, jellyfish, sea urchins, sea turtles, dolphins, seals, sharks, sting rays, sand dollars, fish
  • Twilight Zone – Octopus, Squid, Deep diving whales, Hatchetfish, Viperfish, Cuttlefish, deep diving whales
  • Midnight Zone – Angler Fish, Snipe Eel, Lizard Fish, Sea Cucumber, Lanternfish, Sea Cucumber
  • Trench Zone – mussels, crabs, tube worms, viperfish

This is a glimpse of the new Ocean Zone Layers Activity Cards:

Ocean-Zone-Layers-ActivityLayers of the Ocean Activity Packet: There are two Ocean Zone Activities.   It includes the ocean animal sorting cards and zone cards.  And it also includes an Ocean Depths activity, which covers things like — how deep was the deepest scuba dive, the Titanic wreckage, the deepest recorded fish, or how far down is the Mariana Trench, etc.   Students can cut out pictures of these and place them at the appropriate depth. (Also in the packet, you’ll find this same activity in meters.)

The Ocean Zones Activity Packet is now available for $3.00.

Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window).  You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use), which will have a link you can click on to download the Layers of the Ocean Activities pdf.  (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.)  Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com.  You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog or can reach me over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page. ~Liesl



Update: We have been studying the Ocean again in the spring of 2016.  Our 65+ page Ocean Unit (see details about our 65-page ocean curriculum here) is now available.

  • Ocean Unit: Marine Habitats, water form words (bay, strait, fjord, etc.), tides and currents, salinity, features of the ocean floor, Ocean Life:
    • Special Body Features
    • Fish Body Shape and Movement
    • Biological Interactions: Mutualism and Commensalism in the Ocean
    • Deep Sea Life – Bioluminescence, Anglerfish

BUNDLE: Ocean Unit Packet AND Layers of the Ocean Activities Packet



4-Major-Earth-Systems-Biosphere-Atmosphere-Geosphere-HydrosphereYou might be interested in these other posts from our ocean unit:

 Ocean Animal Preschool Game
We also did this cute diorama activity when we did this unit! Fun!!
We made the starfish, sand dollars, crabs and coral out of cornstarch clay.
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup water
Mix and cook on low to medium in a pot until it congeals together.

You may be interested in these related posts:

50+ Page Earth Science Packet


Biomes-Worksheets Biology-Unit-Biosphere-Biomes-Habitats-Packet

See you again soon here or Homeschool Den Facebook page. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! ~Liesl

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2 Responses

  1. May 20, 2014

    […] We did an activity about the ocean zones where we talked about which ocean creatures lived at the various ocean depths. Visit that post here: the Ocean Zones. […]

  2. May 20, 2014

    […] We did an activity about the ocean zones where we talked about which ocean creatures lived at the various ocean depths. Visit that post here: the Ocean Zones. […]

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