High School Lesson Plans

8-) 8-) Research based MacMods
8-) MacMods

Archived Lesson Plans
High School Lesson Plans from the 2008/09 Project
High School Lesson Plans from the 2009/10 Project
High School Lesson Plans from the 2010/11 Project
High School Lesson Plans from the 2011/12 Project
High School Lesson Plans from the 2012/13 Project


Experimental Design

  1. Terrapin Nest Predators Discussion of terrapin nest predator research and the importance of careful experimental design. — Sam Buzuleciu October 30, 2013
  2. Predator-prey Relationships An inquiry based lesson for a small and mature group of students that involves feeding live animals (worms) to amphibian predators (toads). This lesson combines experimental design and predator-prey relationships to provide an experiential learning opportunity. Students use inquiry to design their own experiment to test hypotheses on predator-prey relationships. — Sam Buzuleciu October 30, 2013
  3. 8-) Wind Energy Competition This lesson combines an overarching lesson in experimental design using propeller performance within a classroom competition. Students are charged with building a propeller setup that will produce the most amount of energy and the most consistent amount of energy. — Beckett Hills February 13, 2014


  1. Graphing Tide & Shark Attack Data This lesson is useful as a general refresher for graphing tabular data, using actual tide data and various other real data (such as shark attacks and ocean depths). It is set up for three groups, so that data is similar to other groups, but not the same. First graphs are tides and represent continuous data for students to create a line graph, the second set for each group is based on discrete data for students to create bar graphs. — Beckett Hills October 29, 2013

Scientific Method

  1. Container Quandary This lesson is an inquiry-based general refresher for the scientific method, using objects concealed in containers to get students to use their senses, ask questions, make observations, form a hypothesis about the concealed object(s), then propose ways to test if they are correct. — Beckett Hills February 10, 2014

Semester Project

  1. What Would They Do? This is a final, scenario-based project for students to complete in the last week of classes. It is built as a culminating project, putting to use many of the skills and concepts they have been introduced to in earlier lessons throughout the semester. This is to be presented as a poster at the 2014 Ocean Sciences (ASLO) conference. — Beckett Hills February 10, 2014


Diamondback Terrapins

  1. 8-) 8-) Mapping Predation Using a map to understand factors affecting predation — Samuel Buzuleciu August 20, 2013
  2. 8-) 8-) Scientific Models through Spatial Ecology This lesson is designed to introduce scientific models and Diamondback terrapin ecology using map concepts and life history observations. — Beckett Hills August 20, 2013

Animal Adaptations & Characteristics

  1. Live Animal Presentation Presenting live reptiles for students to interact with animals in a safe and controlled environment in order to learn about native reptile adaptations and characteristics. — Sam Buzuleciu October 30, 2013
  2. 8-) 8-) iAnimal → Thermal Energy and Experimental Design This lesson is designed to have students work with aspects of experimental design as well as a hands-on activity using thermal data loggers. — Beckett Hills May 14, 2014
  3. Natural Selection Lab based, hands-on activity to introduce the concepts of adaptations and fitness (lesson from University of Pennsylvania) — Samuel Buzuleciu May 22, 2014

Organic Molecules

  1. MacroMolecules Discussing food as an introduction to macromolecules — Samuel Buzuleciu October 13, 2013

Animal Tracking

  1. 8-) Migratory Behavior This activity uses real tracking data from SeaTurtle.org to have students investigate how far, how fast, and when migrating animals travel. If you would like my powerpoint, please contact me. — Beckett Hills October 29, 2013

Food Webs & Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

  1. Harmful Algal Blooms This activity is from the Bigelow Lab for Ocean Sciences, the original lesson can be found here. It is about food webs and harmful algal blooms, showing how the toxins can move up through the food chain. — Beckett Hills October 29, 2013
  2. 8-) Food Webs & Bioaccumulation These are two complementary lessons best presented in one class period and administered in two classes (Food web farm activity easily takes one class period). — Sam Buzuleciu February 7, 2014
  3. Ecotoxicology Lab lesson to teach ecotoxicology, specifically mercury bioaccumulation and toxicology to human consumers. — Sam Buzuleciu May 22, 2014
  4. 8-) 8-) Predator/prey Relationships Ask students to break into groups and play the “shell game”. Try having one student (predator) attempt to observe two or three simultaneous shell games (prey populations). The prey populations increase if they are not caught and prey are kept in check if they are caught. Then try having one (or even two) students watching one shell game. Which is the better analogy for predator/prey relationships in the wild? — Sam Buzuleciu May 28, 2014



  1. Dead Zones & Hypoxia This lesson examines hypoxia by graphing dissolved oxygen levels, using actual research cruise data collected throughout the 1994 season in the Gulf of Mexico. Adapted from a lesson on the VIMS Bridge website. — Beckett Hills October 15, 2013

Ocean & Atmosphere

  1. Air & Sea Interactions Lab This is a lab exercise that allows students to observe the way heat, pressure, and density are related to circulation of both air and water. The concepts of convection, conduction, high/low pressure systems, temperature, salinity, land/sea breezes, and heat capacity are all introduced. — Beckett Hills February 13, 2014
  2. Waves & Coastal Processes Lab This is a lab exercise that gives students a chance to experiment with making waves in a wave tank to observe the change in wave speed as depth changes. A second tank setup allows students to create, erode, and protect a sandy beach within the tank, as well as also build a barrier island and observe any changes to the mainland. The concepts of erosion, deposition, longshore transport, wave properties (length, height, amplitude, speed, period), and hard stabilization techniques are all introduced. — Beckett Hills February 13, 2014



  1. The River Game This is a group activity for students that illuminates the “we all live down stream” concept and a great introduction for watersheds. Developed by Karen Fuss of Coastal Carolina University's Waccamaw Watershed Academy. — Beckett Hills February 25, 2014
  2. Topography Activity This is a quick group activity that introduces the concept of water movement away from high points and collection in low points. This lesson is from the South Carolina Aquarium. — Beckett Hills February 25, 2014


  1. World Map This map can be used to accompany any activity (such as 2009-10 fellow Adam Fox's Ocean Geography webquest). It is a high resolution version that can be printed large (11×17 or larger), including a scale bar that will be accurate at any print size. — Beckett Hills October 29, 2013

Note to Educators:

Please contact Beckett Hills wbhills@coastal.edu or Sam Buzuleciu sabuzule@g.coastal.edu if you would like our PowerPoint presentations or any additional materials.

shell plans/high_school/home.txt · Last modified: December 19, 2016 (external edit)