Healthy Habitats

Educator Guide

(Adventure: North Atlantic)

How can we contribute to healthy habitats?

What’s it all about?

Students join youth host, Isabelle, and Boris Worm on an expedition in the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence and Malpeque Bay to explore and identify special habitats. Together, they join DFO scientists, community members and indigenous communities who are using different methods of collecting data (pelagic and shoreline surveys, underwater transects, species observation and analysis, community and traditional knowledge) to find out more about the relationships between marine species and their habitats, and how we can better protect them.

Estimated media time - 110m

Watch the trailer

Potential topics / Big ideas

  • Habitat management and protection

  • Spatial diversity of natural and human environments and communities, on a local and regional scale

  • Scientific exploration

  • Species identification

  • Technology as a tool to improve marine research, collaborate, gather and analyze information

  • Patterns and trends (e.g., habitats and species interactions)

  • Data collection and analysis

  • Stability and change (e.g., changes to habitats and resulting impacts)

  • Stakeholder perspectives (e.g., scientists, community members, aquaculture farmers)

  • Mi’kmaw relationship to the environment

  • Mi’kmaw concept of Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing)


Lines of inquiry

Healthy Habitat contains four lines of inquiry, each with a focus question. This guide describes all of the media in each line of inquiry by title, type, content and accompanying activity. We have provided estimated times for each activity.

Note. As an inquiry-based learning platform, Ocean School is designed to allow students to choose their own path according to their crew’s (group) decisions. If you would like the students to follow a prescribed path, you will need to tell them where to go.

For more information, read about our approach to Inquiry based learning.

Healthy Habitats

Click on the titles in this graphic to open them on the Ocean School platform.

Take Action

The Take Action is the culminating activity in every module. Learners are asked to reflect about what they’ve learned and how they can put their learning into action. This activity is designed to support sustained inquiry, leadership and collaboration.

The Take Action is framed with a “call to action” from the youth host who poses the overarching module question and asks students to take action to answer it. In this case: How can we contribute to healthy habitats?

Below we have described the call to action and a handful ideas of actions or products.

For more information, read the Take Action guide.

Call to Action

How can we contribute to healthy habitats?


When you visit the ocean, you’re a guest in every aquatic animal’s home! What helpful actions can you take to become the very best guest that you can possibly be? Let us know how YOU made waves!


Take action planner: A template is provided with the call to action and questions to scaffold the planning of an action. Preview the planner here.

Ideas for actions and products

Get outside! Identify habitats that are threatened in the local area. Investigate and help to restore the habitat!

  • Create a product to share learning and build awareness among others -Infographics, podcasts, digital stories, social media campaign

  • Create a role play

  • Become a citizen scientist

Want it all?

You can download all of the activities for "Healthy Habitats" at once.


What factors are essential for healthy marine habitats?

In this line of inquiry: Off-the-hook habitats, The Odyssey begins, Stirring the zone, Whale City, Cadet to Captain


How can we better understand what a species needs for a healthy habitat?

In this line of inquiry: I brake for sponges, The ROPOS must dive, The ROPOS returns, Fly ROPOS, We can always go deeper


What are the relationships between marine species and their habitats?

In this line of inquiry: The oyster and the eelgrass, All around the oyster farm, Ulva overload, Bay watch, The "o-fish-ial " count

Inquiry tools

How can we boost our inquiry skills?

An inquiry tool is a piece of media that explicitly targets inquiry skills building. Ocean School is designed to facilitate and build inquiry skills, such as asking great questions. Each of the inquiry tools has an accompanying educator guide with a lesson plan.

For more information go to the Inquiry tools guide.