Here's the April dose of high quality digital content from Marco  Polo....
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From: MarcoGram [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 5:46 PM
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Subject: MarcoGram: By the Sea

The MarcoGram: For educators, principals and teacher-trainers.

By the Sea

April is National Zoo and Aquarium Month and MarcoPolo has collected lessons that use marine biology and maritime history to illustrate basic concepts in economics, math, art, geography and much more. Use the warm-up activities below to get your students interested in animals, aquatics and maritime adventures, then scroll down to find links to more lessons to help celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month in your classroom.

Warm-up Activities:
Pirate Map 1. Blackbeard the Pirate is one of the most well known pirates in history. Where did he live? (Answer: Born in Jamaica, Blackbeard owned a house in North Carolina.) Can you name any other pirates? Where do you think they lived? Where did they sail? On a world map, mark and color in the areas where some famous pirates traveled.
Image courtesy of Beej's 
Pirate Image Archive, a partner-approved resource.
Explore a "Pirate Map" (Grades 3-5), Xpeditions, National Geographic Society.

Bluefin Tuna
Image courtesy of EconEdLink.
2. American consumers spend more than $46 billion each year on a wide variety of fish and shellfish products, and, worldwide, fish is the most consumed animal protein. Fisheries and aquaculture farms contribute to the fish population which, in turn, helps alleviate hunger in underdeveloped nations. Are there any drawbacks to "fish farming?" Create an argument for or against commercial fisheries. Support your findings with social, economic and mathematical statistics. 
Participate in "The Fish Trade" (Grades 9-12), Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ocean Floor 3. Have you ever visited the ocean? Do you know what types of animals live in the ocean? Draw a picture of plants, animals and other objects you might find underwater.
© 2002, PhotoDisc, Inc. Take a trip "Under the Deep Blue Sea" (Grades K-2), EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities.

4. You can estimate the weight of a whale by measuring its length. Let's assume that a 40-foot whale weighs about 40,000 tons. Based on that, how much does a whale weigh if it's 72 feet long? (Answer: 72,000 tons.) How long is the whale if it weighs 48,500 tons? (Answer: 48 1/2 feet.) Quiz your friends to see if they can figure out the math.

Work on basic math skills in "Application: Using Math in Everyday Life" (Grades 1-8), Illuminations, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

5. Brine shrimp, also known as "sea monkeys," require special conditions to hatch and live, including water salinity, temperature and water quality. What do you think are the optimal conditions for brine shrimp to hatch? Devise a hypothesis, then create a graphic organizer with the different variables you will use to test your theory.

Test your theory while "Hatching Brine Shrimp" (Grades 6-8), Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Links to This Month's Featured Lessons:

"Under the Deep Blue Sea" (Grades K-2)
(EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities)
Students learn about the ocean and the creatures that live there, listen to stories and poems with oceanic settings, conduct research about oceanic life forms, and write their own stories and poems about the sea.

"Application: Using Math in Everyday Life" (Grades 1-8)
(Illuminations, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)
This lesson includes an activity for students to estimate the weight of a whale.

"How a Blue Crab Changes as It Grows" (Grades 3-5)
(Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Students discover the changes that an animal (a blue crab) goes through during molting.

"Pirate Map" (Grades 3-5)
(Xpeditions, National Geographic Society)
Students learn the geography of pirate routes.

"Sink It" (Grades 3-5)
(Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Students develop experimental design skills while studying the density of water and buoyancy of a boat.

"Light in the Storm: Patterns of a Lighthouse" (Grades 3-6)
(ARTSEDGE, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts)
Students work in teams to create light and sound patterns for a lighthouse.

"Dolphin Brains" (Grades 3-12)
(Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
In this Science Update, students learn how one scientist is studying dolphin intelligence.

"Hatching Brine Shrimp" (Grades 6-8)
(Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Students learn how the growth and survival of brine shrimp depends on physical conditions.

"Bouncy Blubber" (Grades 6-12)
(Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
In this Science Update, students learn about the energy-saving benefits of blubber.

"I'll Trade You a Bag of Chips, Two Cookies, and $60,000 for Your Tuna Fish Sandwich" (Grades 9-12)
(EconEdLink, National Council on Economic Education)
Students study the concept of supply and demand through the fish trade.

"Piracy: A Continuing Problem" (Grades 9-12)
(Xpeditions, National Geographic Society)
Students compare and contrast piracy in its "golden age" with piracy in modern times.

"Using Algebra and Discrete Mathematics to Investigate Population Changes in a Trout Pond" (Grades 9-12)
(Illuminations, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)
Students use graphs, equations, tables and technological tools to investigate the effect of varying parameters on a changing fish population.

"The Fish Trade" (Grades 9-12)
(Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Students examine the interdependence of global trade in the context of the economic and social aspects of fisheries and aquaculture.

"Can Captive Breeding Save Species?" (Grades 9-12)
(Xpeditions, National Geographic Society)
Students research and assess captive breeding programs in zoos and aquariums.

Warm-up activities and lesson plan links brought to you by
MarcoPolo: Internet Content for the Classroom
For more lessons, check out MarcoPolo's search engine. This valuable tool will lead you to MarcoPolo lesson plans and reviewed sites that you can use in the classroom. Visit to begin your search. Teachers of any subject or grade level can use lessons from any of our partner sites. Many lessons have approved links that can extend the lesson for different grades and different subject areas.

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