Oceans, Seas, and Basins

A reading comprehension lesson on oceans, seas, and basins. Includes printable teaching lesson worksheet.



• Students will be able to describe the characteristics of oceans.

• Students will be able to distinguish between oceans and seas.

• Students will be able to describe how waves, tides and currents are created.

• Students will be able to describe the actions of waves, tides and currents.

• Students will be able to describe how currents affect the climate.


Suggested Grades:

4rd Grade - 5th Grade - 6th Grade

Lesson Procedure:

Print the reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).

Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.


Lesson Excerpt:

More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. The largest bodies of water on Earth are called oceans. There are five oceans: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. They are large bodies of salt water. The salt in the water comes from mineral deposits in rocks. It also comes from volcanoes that erupt under the sea. If all of the water in the oceans on Earth were to evaporate, a layer of salt about 200 feet thick would be left.

A sea is a body of salt water that is much smaller than an ocean. Most seas are connected to one of the oceans. Some examples of seas are the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Salts in the ocean are removed as quickly as they are added. Plants and animals use the ocean salts to build shells and skeletons. Some salts become a solid part of an ocean’s floor, which is also known as a basin.



Lesson Printables:

Print this printable worksheet for this lesson:

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