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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Using the News in the Classroom: World Ocean Day is Coming


World Oceans Day is June 8th

Down, Down, Down, to Depths Few Have Ever Gone.

Four people have visited the depths of the Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench(Pacific Ocean), the deepest spot on Earth. The first humans to go into the Mariana Trench were Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, in 1960. Film director James Cameron reached a record depth of 35,756 feet in a solo submersible dive in 2012. In May, 2019, Victor Vescovo beat this depth by successfully going 35, 849! He beat Cameron’s record depth by about 36 ft. Traveling down into the Mariana Trench, Vescovo (who also has climbed the seven summits on each continent) saw four never before seen prawn-like fish and sadly, a plastic bag at a depth of almost 7 miles! He also saw a candy wrapper at this depth.
Vescovo’s Five Deep Project has been making dives in all 5 of the Earth’s Oceans. He will finish his last deep dive this August when he goes down into the Molloy Trench, in the Arctic Ocean.
Five Deepest areas in the FIVE Oceans.( The Southern Ocean is now considered an Ocean) 
1.The Mariana Trench (Pacific)
2. Molloy Trench( Arctic)
3. Puerto Rico Trench( Atlantic)
4. Java Trench (Indian)
5. South Sandwich Trench (Southern)
Learn more at FiveDeepProject.
Fun Facts about Mariana Trench:
1. It was the HMS Challenger that is credited with discovering the Mariana Trench in 1875.
2. The deepest areas of the Earth’s oceans, below 20,000 ft, are called the Hadal Zone. This zone is named for the ancient Greek god of the underworld, Hades.
3. The deepest part of the Mariana Trench is called the Challenger Deep, for the ship which first discovered the area.
4. You could place Mt. Everest into the very bottom of the Mariana Trench and the mountain’s peak would still be about 1/2 miles under the water!
5. The floor of the Mariana Tench is yellowish in color.
6. In 2009, President George W. Bush named the Marian Trench, a U.S. National Monument.
Fun Facts about Our Oceans:
  • Coral has been used to repair bones in humans!
  • Blue Whales can weigh as much as 30 elephants and are as long as three Greyhound buses! Its heart is about the size of a Volkswagen!
  • The highest wave ever recorded hit near Lituya Glacier in Alaska in 1958. It was 1740 ft. high!
  • Wondering how many marine species exist? According to World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), at least 212,906!
  • Scientists say the jellyfish is older than the dinosaurs dating back at least 650 million years ago!
  • The highest tides occur in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia,Canada, reaching 53 ft. high!
  • The Ring of Fire located in the Pacific Ocean is the largest zone of active volcanoes on the sea floor. 75% of the world's volcanoes are here!
  • There are 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean
  • On April 17, 2013, a bottle washed up on the shores of a beach in the country of Croatia. It had been thrown into the sea in Nova Scotia, Canada....4000 miles away! Scientists say it probably traveled 5x that in its 28 years at sea!
  • A fish thought be be extinct for 60 million years was caught alive by fisherman off the southern coast of Africa in 1938. Called a coelacanth, the fish has been around for 300 million years.                       
  • If you measure the tallest mountain from the sea floor up, Mt. Everest isn't the record holder.! The highest mountain would be Mauna Kea, in Hawaii. It is 33,474 ft. from the ocean floor but only 13,680 ft. above sea level.
  • The longest mountain range on Earth is found in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • There is so much salt in the ocean that if all the salt was dried and collect, it would cover all the continents with 5 ft. of salt!
  • There is enough gold in the world's oceans for each person on the planet to have almost nine pounds of gold.
  • You can see the world's largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia,(1616 miles long) from outer space!
Your Turn: 
1. What do you think would be 2 dangers of deep ocean exploration?
2. What are 2 character traits of someone who would be able to do such a deep dive to the depths of one of the Earth’s oceans? What are 2 character traits you would give to yourself and WHY?
3. What are three reasons the Earth’s oceans are important to us?
4. How do our oceans effect climate?
5. Illustrate one of the factoids about oceans.
6. Pretend you are going on a deep dive into the Mariana Trench and write a diary entry. What are you thinking? What do you see? Etc.
Teacher Page:
2. Check out this video on the Mariana Trench:
Want to learn more about the Ocean? Check out my resource at my TpT Store: Learn lots of fun facts with this Exploring the Ocean Blue: A Webquest.There are 9 informative web questions. Fun Facts, comprehension questions, extension activities, links. Use as part of a unit on oceans, a Friday activity for a Friday or before a vacation.Skills include:reading for information and using research/computer skills.
Learn about Jacques Cousteau with this Reader's Theater Script: Oceanographer, photographer, filmmaker, scientist, writer, inventor, Cousteau spent his life studying the oceans and the marine life that lived in the oceans. His books and films on his studies sparked much interest in our oceans and created an awareness about the need for marine conservation. Part of my Ms. Bie Ografee Talk Show Series where Jacques Cousteau is a guest on her talk show and answers questions of her studio audience. There are 10 audience questioners, a Did You Know? section, comprehension questions, a teacher section with extension activities, links and the key:
Gail Hennessey