ARCHIVED - Activities - 1. Apple Ocean
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To learn about the small percentage of the ocean that is productive, providing food and shelter for a variety of plants, and people.
An apple will be cut up to illustrate what part of the Earth is land, what part is ocean, and what proportion is the most productive part of the ocean.
All the water in the world today was here when the Earth was formed. The water of the Earth has remained unchanged in quantity throughout the four or five billion years of its existence. About 97% of the water on the Earth is in the ocean.
- Only a small percentage of the ocean is productive. These productive areas are the coastal regions.
- The Atlantic region has many different coastal ecosystems (rocky shores, estuaries, salt marshes, sandy beaches, barrier islands, cliffs and fjords, tidal mudflats, coastal bogs, bays, and inlets).
- Estuaries, salt marshes, and rocky shores are very productive environments.
- These areas provide sources of food for wildlife and humans, and act as nurseries for many commercial fish species.
Looking at the land part of our planet:
- Cut your apple into four equal pieces. Set three of the pieces aside for later use. These represent the three-quarters of the Earth that is covered with ocean. Mark them 'OCEAN.' The remaining quarter represents the land, or areas not covered by ocean.
- Cut this one-quarter into two equal pieces. One piece represents all the land that is too dry, too wet, too old, or too hot for people. This is uninhabitable land-mountains, deserts.... The other piece, one-eighth of the Earth's surface, is where people can live.
- Cut this one-eighth piece into four pieces and set aside three of them. The remaining piece represents the portion of the habitable land in which we are able to grow food.
- Take this 1/32 piece and cut off a thin slice. This tiny slice represents 3/100 of 1% of the Earth's surface. All of our drinkable water comes from this area. What is the significance of this or what does this suggest to you?
Now look at the ocean part of our planet:
- Take one of the three 'ocean' pieces and cut it in half. This piece, an eighth of the world's surface, represents the productive coastal zones of the oceans.
- Cut this one-eighth piece into four equal parts. One of these represents the productive area along the Atlantic coast of North America. What does this tell you about the amount of productive aquatic area in the world?
- Eat the apple.
- With an atlas or the 'Sea Trek' map from the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, explore the world's coastal ecosystems. Where do you think the most productive ecosystems are located?
- Discuss: Why are coastal ecosystems important?
- Try to estimate the length of coastal ecosystems based on a detailed provincial map.
- Investigate the threats to the coastal ecosystem, for example, how do industrialized cities affect these areas?
- How is the fishery in Atlantic Canada affected by the threats to coastal ecosystems?
1. ACTIVITY MATERIALS
||knives, apples, non-toxic markers
|MINIMUM PEOPLE REQUIRED:
||Science, Mathematics (fractions), Social Studies
||6 and up
||salt marshes, saltwater, estuaries, rocky shores, productivity
* Modified from the Huntsman Marine Science Centre