Kingdom Of The Oceans: Teacher Notes

Video highlights from Kingdom Of The Oceans

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TEACHER NOTES

TELEVISION PROGRAM        
Kingdom of the Oceans

LEARNING LEVEL            
Upper Primary, Junior Secondary

CURRICULUM RELEVANCE    
Science (Upper Primary, Junior Secondary)
Geography (Junior Secondary only)


PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION FOR TEACHERS

Even though three-quarters of our planet lies underwater, we know relatively little about the deep sea and its inhabitants. In this fascinating arena, filmmakers Jacques Cluzaud and Jacques Perrin follow dozens of different species across five oceans using the latest underwater technologies. Equipped with two HD cameras and two divers capable of spending three hours at a stretch underwater, the team keeps pace with the marine creatures that crisscross the oceans, experiencing life from their perspective. The result is some of the most marvellous footage every shot, from the mighty blue whale to the tiny krill that sustain it. In addition to showcasing a wonderful sample of individual species, the footage also captures marvellous predator-prey interactions, attack and defence mechanisms, various examples of symbiosis and the marine food chain in all its glory. Seamount oases with their plethora of permanent residents and casual visitors stand in stark contrast to the mid-oceans' barren deserts.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS

The opening sequences of this visually stunning documentary showcase spinner dolphins, yellow-fin tuna, devil rays and frigate birds converging on a school of lantern fish. Odd-looking night hunters that spend their days in darkness one kilometre down from the water's surface, the lantern fish have stayed out too late, and are now trapped from above and below in a deathly

Kingdom of the Oceans provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the creatures, great and small, that inhabit the vast open stretches oceans that account for some three-quarters of our planet.

While some of the ocean's great predators ¬– such as swordfish, great white and mako sharks – hunt alone, hammerhead sharks prefer to swim in schools. Ocean sunfish, which grow to the size of a utility truck, have adaptations that allow them to swim upright or on their sides, to bask on the ocean's surface, or plunge to 500 metres. The blue whale – largest animal that ever lived – stretches to 30 metres and weighs up to 100 tonnes, yet is sustained by jellybean-sized krill, the lynch-pin of the food chain. Like the blue whale, basking sharks are gentle giants. Swimming slowly, they journey thousands of kilometres each year, crossing entire oceans. By contrast, jellyfish drift with the currents, their stinging tentacles ready for action.

Of the ocean's many predators, dolphins are amongst the best equipped. Using echolocation and a complex means of communication, they form super pods thousands strong when food is abundant. In the southern hemisphere's winter, these cooperative hunting groups gather off South Africa's coast where sardines gather in their billions to spawn. Surging north, these massive sardine schools ride cold currents that hug the coastline, chased by dolphins, copper sharks and Cape gannets in a spectacular feeding display. Although many individual sardines fall prey to their relentless predators, enough survive to sustain future populations. Those caught in massive nets by fishermen, however, tell a different story.



In the barren stretches of mid-ocean, any object carried by currents – from floating tree trunks to old car tyres –  can serve as a refuge from predators. Floating kelp harbours horse mackerel and halfmoon fish, and sometimes even coastal residents such as rockfish and pipefish. These species have not evolved for survival on high seas, so if their kelp island breaks up and sinks, they will likely perish. Till then, like all survivors, they make the most of what they find.



CURRICULUM POINTERS

Upper Primary Curriculum

Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives.

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale



Junior Secondary Curriculum

In addition to its practical applications, learning science is a valuable pursuit in its own right, providing opportunities for critical and creative thinking, challenge and leisure. The science curriculum provides opportunities for students to experience the joy of scientific discovery and to nurture students’ natural curiosity about the world around them.

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale



Geography shows students ways in which they can positively influence their world as active local, national and global citizens by encouraging them to question why things are the way they are, to investigate issues and to evaluate alternative, more sustainable futures. Through exploration and discussion, students develop an informed view of their responsibilities towards the environment and to people throughout the world.

Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography 2011: Introduction

CURRICULUM OUTCOMES

Upper Primary

In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will develop:

•    an interest in science and a curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions and speculate about the changing world in which they live

•    an ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs

•    an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims


Junior Secondary

In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will develop:

•    an ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs

•    an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account moral, ethical and social implications

•    an understanding of historical and cultural aspects of science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science

Australian Science Curriculum 2010: Aims



In undertaking these tasks, students of Geography will:

•    develop a sense of wonder, curiosity, knowledge and interest about the variety of environments … that exist throughout the world

•    gain a good understanding of geographical thinking including its perspectives, concepts and ways of explaining

•    become thoughtful and active local, national and global citizens, and to understand how they can influence the futures of places

Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography 2011: Aims

 

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