002 - Historical Use of Oceans

Conceptual Question

What scientific and technical innovations have taken place to allow humans to have power over the oceans?

Approaches to Learning

Critical Thinking Skills - Analysing and evaluating issues and ideas - Gather and organise relevant information to formulate an argument.

Key Terminology

No new terms will specifically be used in this lesson.

Activity One - Skill

In the previous lesson we looked at how amazing the oceans of our planet are and gained an understanding of how they work. Humans have managed to develop technology to explore the oceans and use them to their advantage although at times they can fight back! Using the link in the 'Useful Resources' box create a timeline to show how the ocean made us what we are.

      1. Collect a piece of A4 paper.

      2. In small teams of no more than three people, read the articles in the 'Useful Resources' box and using bullet points record any key event that impacted the oceans or scientific and technological innovation. Do remember to also record the date/year of the event.

      3. Using your notes in point two, devise a scale for your timeline.

      4. Using a pencil and a ruler draw a line down the middle (long ways) of your A4 paper and mark on the scale you have created.

      5. Re-read your notes and highlight the 'most' important changes to the oceans or technological and scientific discoveries that you are going to add to your timeline.

      6. Add the key events from point two onto your timeline.


We could attempt to do this on a padlet as a group. Each person will be given a specific part of the links below to read to find out how our use of the oceans has changed over time. Add the key event to the padlet below.

Activity Two

For this activity the group are going to work together to gain knowledge of what our oceans can and have been used for. You will be working as a class to develop a Google Slide presentation on the importance of ocean use. You will be using this shared resource later on in the unit - so it needs to be good! I will give one of you the job to create the initial Slide and to share it with the group. There are a set of resources below to help you with this quest but you may have to tease out the information and do a small amount of freestyle searching. You will be divided into four teams to explore one of the following:

                  • How oceans developed trade and travel links. Consider different periods of time and the increased distance we now travel. Discuss the different innovations that allowed our boats to get bigger, faster and contain more goods.

                  • How we have exploited the oceans natural resources - focus on oil.

                  • How we have exploited the oceans natural resources - focus on food.

                  • How the oceans have helped us to communicate with others effectively - phone/internet

                  • How the oceans helped shape how we view our planet - mapping.

Content Requirements

      1. Short history of the focus e.g. timeline of trade development from Ancient times to today's shipping containers.

      2. What technology was needed to allow us to exploit a resource or use the oceans effectively?

      3. How have the changes impacted the human race?

Formal Requirements

      • Your name must be on the slide that you worked on.

      • As this is more of an informative piece than an actual presentation it can be text rather than image heavy.

      • Bibliography for the information and any image that has been used.

Useful Resources

Activity Three

Using the Google Slides created by your peers, in your opinion which innovation has had the biggest impact on us? Write a paragraph (5-7 sentences) explaining your argument.