Creature From the Deep2021-12-18T17:33:25-05:00

Introduction: Students can use their imaginations to good advantage in this activity, but they must get the facts right! For example, they can change one characteristic of an organism, such as increasing the size of a salp to 10 meters, but they need to include information about the normal size in the definition section.

You may wish to have students choose from only certain terms, such as sea floor features, or you can provide the entire list for students to choose from. Marine biology provides a rich source of creatures which can easily be modified for the purposes of a horror story.

Materials:

Reference materials: text books, glossaries of ocean terms, dictionaries

Examples of ocean horror stories (Jaws, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Abyss, Peter Benchley’s The Beast, the B-grade movie Leviathan, tabloid news stories of sea monsters)

Procedure:

1. Using maps, images, and definitions, introduce the features of the sea floor. Be sure students understand the scale and typical location of the features. If studying marine biology, use this activity after students are familiar with the marine environment and many types of marine organisms.

2. Distribute and read through the list of terms. Explain to students they will be writing a horror story, appropriately using at least 8 of the terms. They will also be required to include a list of correct definitions of the terms they use. If a feature is altered in the story, the correct information must be included in the definition section. They can use theme of a research expedition that gets into trouble or design their own plot.

3. Read an excerpt from an ocean-based horror story to set the mood, then have students brainstorm and outline ideas individually. After they have used the information resources to record the meaning of their terms, they should begin writing.

4. Encourage students to illustrate their stories when finished, either with a book jacket cover design or a text illustration.

5. Students may want to share their stories with the class, or have their stories read aloud anonymously.

Thermocline
Buoyancy
Surface Currents
Wave Height
Wave Base
Wave
Tsunamis
Tidal Range
Spit
Continental Shelf
Seamount
Mid-ocean Ridge
Barrier Reef
Bay Barrier
Plankton
Nekton
Diatoms
Amphipod
Ctenophore
Architeuthis
Nautilus
Carcharidon
Meter Tow
Neuston Net
Schooner

Hydrocast
Secchi Disk
Mate
Port
Stern
Galley
Yard Arm
Downhaul
Backstays
Pycnocline
Salinity
Density Currents
Wave Length
Crest
Shallow Water Wave
Spring Tide
Shore Zone
Barrier Island
Continental Slope
Rift Zone

Starboard
Helm
Head
Winch
Forestay
Scuppers

Oceanic Trench
Atoll
Lagoon
Phytoplankton
Benthos
Pteropod
Euphausiid
Nautilus
Carcharidon
Meter Tow
Neuston Net
Schooner
Starboard
Helm
Head
Winch
Forestay
Scuppers
Oceanic Trench
Atoll
Lagoon
Phytoplankton
Benthos
Pteropod
Euphausiid

Deep Water Wave
Seismic Sea Wave
Neap Tide
Rip Current
Ooze
Abyssal Plain
Bearing
Fringing Reef
Tombolo
Gravimeter
Zooplankton
Copepods
Salp
Dinoflagellate
Cuttlefish
Gravity Core
Shipek Grab
Steward
Brigantine
Bow
Hull
Berths
Sextant
Mainstay
Taffrail Log

Based on an idea by Julie Cunningham, SEA Experience, 1996 and Kristin Wyatt, Sea Experience, 1997

Copyright 1998-2008 by Sea Education Association, all rights reserved.
Compiled and edited by Pat Harcourt & Teri Stanley.

This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation (Proposals # TEI-8652383, TPE-8955214, and ESI-925324), the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Foundation, the Donner Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of the Foundations.

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