Atlantic Ocean Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about the Atlantic Ocean and its climate with this lesson plan. Students will review a text lesson, have discussions, take a follow-up quiz, and participate in related activities to solidify concepts.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Identify where the Atlantic Ocean is located
  • Explain how deep the ocean is and the deepest point
  • Review underwater volcanoes and mountain ridges
  • Describe some of the ocean's sea life
  • Detail the climate of the Atlantic Ocean


1 - 1.5 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Mid-Atlantic Ridge
  • Milwaukee Deep
  • Mountain Ranges
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Puerto Rico Trench
  • Sea Ice
  • Tectonic Plates
  • Volcanoes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


  • Inform students they will be studying the Atlantic Ocean and its climate.
  • Hold up a globe and point to the Atlantic Ocean. Hold up a map and do the same.
  • Review the vocabulary terms that will be in the lesson.
  • Pass out the copies of the Atlantic Ocean: Location, Facts & Climate text lesson and have students read the introduction and the 'Where is the Atlantic Ocean?' section. Then ask students:
    • How large is the Atlantic Ocean?
    • Is the Atlantic Ocean in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere?
    • What continents is the Atlantic between?
    • What letter does the shape of the Atlantic Ocean resemble?
  • Now have them read the next section, 'Ocean Depth.' Ask students:
    • What is the average depth of the Atlantic?
    • What is the deepest point in the Atlantic?
  • Next have them read the 'Mountain Ranges and Volcanoes' section. Ask students:
    • What is the name of the underwater mountain range in the Atlantic?
    • How wide is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge?
    • How was Iceland created?
  • Now have them read the section 'Climate and Sea Life.' Ask:
    • Where do hurricanes originate?
    • In which hemisphere do sharks live and in which hemisphere do whales live?
    • Can marine life live under sea ice?
  • Finally, have the students read the 'Lesson Summary' and review the lesson with the students, answering any pertinent questions.
  • Pass out copies of the lesson quiz and have students complete independently to demonstrate understanding.

Activity One

  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Tell them there will be a contest to see who can, within a 25-minute time limit:
    • List all the U.S. states and territories that border the Atlantic Ocean (there are 18 plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)
    • List all the countries (52 total) that border the Atlantic.
  • When time is up, gather the worksheets and give a small prize (choice of candy, homework pass, etc.) to the winning group.
  • Finally, have the students point to their state, and locate its proximity to the Atlantic.

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