Online Learning Resources

Explore virtual field trips, activities, worksheets, and citizen science projects for PreK-12 to bring the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary into your home.

DIVE: An Inspiring Journey Through California’s Marine Protected Areas

Middle School

Save Our Shores, Virtual Planet Technologies, and Oceans360 have teamed up to create a virtual reality experience of our region’s Marine Protected Areas to offer middle school students a glimpse of these magnificent underwater treasures and learn why they are vital to the health of our oceans and a healthy future of all life on Earth.

In the VR experience students join an animated sea lion named Marina on a fun and educational journey in a Save Our Shores submarine observing and interacting with various species in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the Central California and Southern California coastlines. You can try this immersive experience using an Oculus Quest headset, or on Vimeo 360º in the links below. Contact us to schedule this lesson with your students, or utilize the resources and lesson plan below to engage your students or children in the content.

Where do I live?

Grades: PreK to 3

Explore three of the amazing ecosystems we have here in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and some of the animals that live in each! Print these images of habitats and animals that are found right here in our ocean backyard, and have students match where each animal lives. Questions for students to consider:  Why does it live there? What does it need to survive? How does it protect itself?

Virtual tidepool exploration and book reading

Grades: PreK to 5

Join Save Our Shores for an exploration of our rocky intertidal zones at Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve.

This activity begins with a reading of the book “In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Tails” by Anthony D. Fredericks, followed by an exploration of the intertidal zones and some of the animals that call this dynamic ecosystem home.

4R Bingo

Grades: K to 6

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle!

Take action to make change at home while playing SOS 4R BINGO! This game is bilingual and includes instructions to enhance play.

Birds in your backyard

Grades: 1 to 5

The great thing about studying birds is they can be found anywhere! Students can explore bird structures and functions with this worksheet, watch shore birds real time with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cam, and become a bird watcher in their own backyard! Students can use these tips for bird watching at home and spend time making observations and drawings in a nature journal or science notebook.

Virtual beach cleanup field trip

Grades: 2 to 6

Join Save Our Shores Education Coordinator, Krista Rogers, for a fun and educational exploration of Manresa Beach.

Students will get an introduction on human impacts to the sandy beach habitat, and think of ways they can help prevent ocean pollution.

Watch the video while following along with this worksheet and student data card.

Where Does the Flow Go?

Grades: 2 to 6
No matter how far away from the ocean you live, what you do matters. 
This video explores how water moves across our landscape, the interconnectedness of our waterways and planet, the threats facing our watersheds, and how we can all contribute to a healthy watershed that supports thriving ecosystems and human populations.

Giant Kelp structure & function

Grades: 3 to 5

Explore the structures of Giant Kelp, and their corresponding functions with this worksheet. Find out how this seaweed survives in our dynamic ocean and how it is the foundation of one of our amazing ecosystems: the kelp forest!

50 years of earth day

Grades: 6 to 12
Take a brief dive into the advances, gaps, and backslides of the environmental and climate justice movements since the first Earth Day was held 50 years ago on April 22, 1970. With vintage footage from the first Earth Day, this short video offers a glimpse of the many similarities and challenges we face in the conservation movement. 
Students can dive deeper with sample reflection questions and ways to engage in activism found here in this accompanying lesson plan

Watershed Trivia

Download the PowerPoint from our Watershed Trivia Night to hold your own Watershed Trivia event to test your friends’, family’s, or class’s knowledge of our region’s watersheds!

Enjoying Save Our Shores online learning resources? 

Consider making a donation to support the mission of Save Our Shores and our continued efforts to bring you marine science content featuring our beloved Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. 

Thank you for your support!


Photo Credit: Jon Anderson, Pacific Sea Nettles, Waves & Wildlife 2019