Saving Black Sea Bass: Lesson Plan

Researchers at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences track the migration patterns of black sea bass through various ocean habitats.

UNC-TV Media

Alignment to NC Essential Standards

  • 8.E.1.2 — Summarize evidence that Earth’s oceans are a reservoir of nutrients, minerals, dissolved gases and life forms.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will list the common habitats for black sea bass.
  2. Students will define “otolith” and describe its use as a research tool for sea bass.
  3. Students will compare and contrast estuarine and offshore ocean habitats and describe their similarities and differences.

Essential Vocabulary

  • otolith
  • estuary
  • habitat
  • spawn
  • migration


Students will watch the following videos:

Discussion questions:

  1. What are two functions of estuaries?
  2. What are two functions of oyster reefs?


Students will watch The Deep Ocean on PBS LearningMedia.

Discussion questions:

  1. At what ocean depth do most marine animals live, and why?
  2. What is the “Twilight Zone”?
  3. Describe three life forms that can survive on the deep ocean floor.


Students will watch the Saving Black Sea Bass video and read the blog.

Discussion questions:

  1. Define “otolith” and describe its use.
  2. Describe the spawning cycle for black sea bass. Where does it occur, and what happens during each phase?


Additional Links


Students will create and present a table, chart or illustration depicting one type of ocean habitat. The presentation should include title, definition, what types of species live there and potential environmental issues and challenges to the habitat’s survival.