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©2017 BY WWW.MERITOFOUNDATION.ORG. 

MERITO Academy 

The Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans (MERITO®) Academy Curriculum© is an education tool that meets academic requirements in the State of California and can be adapted to other regions. Many of the activities involve students in the participation of on-going scientific research projects of national relevance, and in local conservation efforts.

 

The goals of this curriculum and its supporting outdoor ex­periences are to increase students’ knowledge of Earth and Oceans sciences, increase their understanding of ocean issues, promote sustainable living practices, and exposes students to a wide array of professional STEM careers related to ocean and coastal environments.

 

We have 12 lessons plans available for free to download for members. The full curriculum contains 50 lesson plans in 6 units. Below we provide an overview of 2 lessons of each unit. If you are interested in the whole curriculum of 50 lesson plans for your school or after-school program, contact us.

 

How to become a member?

Jus create an account by registering in the upper right corner of our website and fill out application once your account is set up. 

Once we've received your application, and if you will use in a way that will help the ocean and aligns with our mission, we will give you access to the lesson plans.

The MERITO® Academy Curriculum© version 2017 is intellectual property of the MERITO Foundation Inc., who is also the sole provider of educator’s training for its use. The MERITO ® Foundation works in partnership with NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and in collaboration with a number of local, regional, state and national governmental and non-governmental organizations to provide the full scope of the MERITO Academy program to schools free of charge, contingent on funding availability and based on schools’ needs.

Module 1-1

Lesson 1-1: Our Watershed, Our Sanctuary

Activity Summary:

Students will gain an understanding of what watersheds are, the importance of keeping them healthy, and how runoff affects the Santa Barbara Channel Region including the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Making the land to sea connection allows students to understand the relevance of their own actions in preserving our special watershed and marine resources while building a sense of pride in their own local environment.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th -12 th ; Reading/ Writing in Science: 6 th – 12 th ; Math- 6 th – 8 th

Next Generation Science Standards:

4 th – 5 th , MS & HS

Ocean Literacy Principles:

1 & 6

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

5.3.d; 6.2.b; 6.6.b

Teaching Time: 

60-90 mins in class

Lesson 1-7: Scientist Bingo

Activity Summary: 

Students will be able to name three marine or watershed science related jobs. Students will understand that the noun suffix “-ist” means “one who practices or is concerned with something,” such as geologist, biologist, novelist, etc. Students will learn Latin prefixes and roots that can be joined with the suffix -ist to form the name of a type of scientist.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th -12 th ; Reading in Science: 6 th – 12 th

Ocean Literacy Principles:

7

Teaching Time:

60 mins in class

Lesson 2-2: Native School Habitat

Activity Summary: 

Students will learn the importance of native habitats through the creation of a native school habitat. Students will be fully involved in the planning, design and planting of the habitat. Students will also explore various ideas as to how these native plants provide healthy habitat for animals.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th -12 th ; Reading/Writing in Science: 6 th – 12 th ; Math- 6 th – 8 th

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

6.6.b & 7.3.a

Teaching Time: 

3-5 sessions of 60-90 mins each

Lesson 2-6: Wetlands Art and Poetry

Activity Summary: 

Students will demonstrate the function and importance of wetlands through collage art. Students will learn about collage and various styles of poetry and express their feelings about nature through poetry reflecting stewardship for their environment.

 

Common Core State Standards: 

Reading - 4 th -12 th ; Reading in Science: 6 th – 12 th

Ocean Literacy Principles:

5

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

4.2.b

Teaching Time: 

60-90 mins in class

Lesson 3-1: Water World

Activity Summary: 

Students will learn the cyclical pattern of water movement through the earth’s atmosphere by understanding the different states of water and the phases of the water cycle. Students will also think critically about the consequences for polluting our land, and its appropriate disposal.

Common Core State Standards: 

Reading- 4 th -12 th ; Reading in Science: 6 th – 12 th ; Math- 4 th – 8 th

Next Generation Science Standards:

4 th – 5 th & MS

Ocean Literacy Principles:

3

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

5.3.c, 5.3.d

Teaching Time: 

30 mins in class 5-10 min follow-ups

Lesson 3-4: Who Polluted Our Creek?

Activity Summary: 

Students will conduct hands-on research to describe how water can become polluted and learn procedures for testing water quality. Students will analyze water quality by using water quality test tools to conduct water quality testing for pH, turbidity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen at their local creek. Students will also learn how everything we do can affect our waters and the environment around us.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th -12 th ; Reading in Science: 6 th – 12 th ; Math- 4 th – 5 th

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS & HS

Ocean Literacy Principles:

6

Teaching Time:

90 mins in class

Lesson 4-1: Sanctuary Habitats

Activity Summary: 

Students will be able to explain the concept of habitat and species in their own words. Students will analyze at least three of the habitats in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary by describing a minimum of three characteristics of each, and naming at least three of the inhabitants of each habitat in which they live.

Common Core State Standards: 

Reading- 4 th -12 th ; Reading in Science: 6 th – 12 th

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS &HS

Ocean Literacy Principles:

5

Climate Literacy Principles:

3

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

4.2.b; 4.2.c; 5.3.a; 6.5.c; 7.3.a

Teaching Time: 

60-90 mins in class

Lesson 4-4: Sand Crab Monitoring

Activity Summary: 

Students will use scientific methods to monitor a particular ecosystem. Students will learn that organisms in the lower trophic level can be indicators of overall ecosystem health. Students will learn that information such as species abundance, average size, sex, and reproductive data can help answer questions about water quality.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th -12 th ; Reading/Writing in Science: 6 th – 12 th ; Math- 4 th – 5 th

Next Generation Science Standards:

5 th , MS & HS

Ocean Literacy Principles:

5

Climate Literacy Principles:

6

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

4.2.b; 4.2.c; 6.5.c

Teaching Time: 

90 - 120 mins

Lesson 5-4: Safety in Numbers

Activity Summary: 

Students will become familiar with how marine reserves are established and what effect they have on populations living within them.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th -12 th ; Reading/Writing in Science: 6 th – 12 th ; Math- 6 th – 8 th

Next Generation Science Standards:

5 th , MS & HS

Ocean Literacy Principles:

6

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

6.6.a; 6.6.b

Teaching Time: 

60 mins in class

Lesson 5-8: Dark and Stormy Night

Activity Summary: 

Students will become familiar with the rich maritime history that is present in the waters surrounding the Channel Islands. Students will be able to use lines of longitude and latitude on a map.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th -12 th ; Reading/Writing in Science: 6 th – 12 th ; Math- 6 th – 8 th

Ocean Literacy Principles:

6

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

5.3.b; 5.3.c

Teaching Time: 

60 – 90 mins in class

Lesson 6-2: Watch Your Step

Activity Summary: 

Identify the resources, processes, and impacts to our surrounding and then our marine environment embodied in everyday activities (even if we live many miles away from the ocean). Describe the interconnectedness of population, lifestyle, economics, and environmental issues. Describe the concept of an ecological footprint. Discuss, create, and implement ways to reduce ecological footprints Describe the ecological footprint of a burger.

Common Core State Standards: 

ELA- 4 th – 7 th

Ocean Literacy Principles:

6

Climate Literacy Principles:

6

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

6.6.b; 6.6.c

Teaching Time: 

90-120 minutes

Lesson 6-8: Marine Osteoporosis

Activity Summary: 

Students will use the scientific method to hypothesize, test, record, and make conclusions on the effects of acidity on certain marine organisms.

Common Core State Standards: 

Science; Life Sciences; Investigation; Experimentation- 4 th – 7 th

Ocean Literacy Principles:

6

Climate Literacy Principles:

6 &7 

Education and the Environment Initiative: 

4.2.a; 4.2.b; 4.2.c

Teaching Time: 

Two 45-min lessons. Observations every 30 mins for 2-3 hours.