Shape of Life offers students a fabulous peek into characteristics and adaptations that allow marine organisms to survive.
Shape of Life offers classroom media and resources depicting the evolution of the animal kingdom on planet earth. Explore animal adaptation, animations, and behaviors along with the amazing scientists who bring their stories to life. Discover a rich selection of NGSS materials including lesson plans, readings, illustrations and activities that inspire a deeper dive into animal phyla. Shape of Life content is FREE to students and educators all over the world.
Discover the Deep Sea with US!
New Virtual Classroom Resources
In this lesson plan, students engage in the practice of science through observation of behaviors using Shape of Life videos with the audio and closed captioning turned off.
This reformatted lesson plan is derived from our popular World’s Most Awesome Invertebrate lesson plan.
After watching the nine phyla videos, students make a compelling argument for their choice of the most awesome invertebrate.
Your students can discover Sponges through this PowerPoint which can be used individually or in a virtual classroom.
Boundaries?! What Boundaries?
Anand Patel is the type of science teacher who easily crosses cultural, social and generational boundaries in his approach to teaching. Anand teaches to the part in each of us that meets in the natural world- rather than the places that may divide us.
For all of you who always dreamed of working in an aquarium taking care of the animals, Megan Olhasso gives us a solid picture of what that looks like.
Dr. Edie Widder is one of the best known marine biologists in this country and a hero of ours. When we asked her how she got into science, Edie said, “all school taught me to do was daydream.” Luckily, when she was 11 she traveled the world with her mathematician parents while her dad was on sabbatical and that opened up a world of possibilities for Edie.
Discover how Edie got her marine biology groove.
The deep sea is dark, mysterious and mostly unexplored. As technology improves scientists gain more resources to help reveal more and more about the largest habitat on earth. We consider ourselves very fortunate to live on Monterey Bay where the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is on the cutting edge of deep-sea research.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is taken up by the ocean. In fact, scientists estimate that about 45% of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans has been absorbed by the ocean. What happens to it in the ocean?
There is a squid so HUGE it has made sucker scars on sperm whales found washed ashore. We’ve long imagined an epic battle between the two animals, as depicted in the diorama above. In 2013, the first glimpse of the mysterious creature— the largest invertebrate on earth— was caught on video in Japan. Scientists, including our Featured Scientist Edie Widder, filmed the first in U.S. waters in 2019.
Check out the giant squid in U.S. waters here.
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has lost half of its coral in the last 25 years. Along its entire length (1,429 miles over an area of approximately 133,000 square miles) coral bleaching has destroyed the reef. When the ocean water near a reef gets too warm, the corals’ symbiotic algae begin producing toxins, and the corals expel them, turning white – this is coral bleaching. Bleached reefs can recover if the water cools.