Coastal Ecology—Kelp Forests

Summary: It’s difficult for a class of students to actually swim under the sea and truly experience the wonder of kelp forest ecosystems. In this lesson from OIMB, students explore kelp forests through video. Furthermore, they gain experience collecting data and summarizing a scientific investigation.

Concepts to teach: Kelp forest ecology, diversity, scientific processes


  • Learn to make predictions and interpret results
  • Record scientific observations to come up with a conclusion
  • Visually experience the kelp forest ecosystem

4.1, 4.2L.1, 4.3, 4.3S.1, 4.3S.2, 4.3S.3

Specific Objectives:

  1. Students will make observations on a virtual field trip of a kelp forest
  2. Students will go through the steps of scientific process by making and testing hypotheses.
  3. Students will collect data, make conclusions and communicate findings with others.

Activity Links and Resources:


  • “The worksheets and student explanations. For this lesson, it is not critical that the conclusions are correct; it is more important that the students give good reasons for their conclusions based on what they observed and know and about the kelp forest. In their presentations, do they articulate the different steps of the scientific method?”