"Online Marine Plankton ID Guide Sheet": http://www.cosee.net/files/coseenet/IdentificationofCommonMarinePlankton.pdf
Create a marine food web by assigning each student a link in the food chain (sun/nutrients, bacteria, phytoplankton, zooplankton, filter feeders, predators, scavengers, etc.) and using a ball of yarn to demonstrate the complex linkages. The student with the “sun/nutrients” designation would begin the cycle by gently tossing the ball of yarn to the phytoplankton, who would then throw it to the zooplankton, and so on. Once all the students are connected, have one of them tug on the yarn. Ask all of those who feel the tug, to then tug on their connections. Soon, everyone in the food web should feel the effects.
Scientists use plankton nets to sample populations and monitor oceanic health and productivity. Nets vary in size depending on if they are to be deployed behind boats or pulled by hand, and mesh size depending on the size of plankton they are sampling. Have students work in small groups to design and create their own plankton nets using margarine tubs, pill bottles, wire clothes hangers, string, old nylons, cheesecloth, and other materials. Bring to HMSC or take to any local waterbody to test designs for durability and effectiveness.
Students design their own unique species of plankton using clay and other objects, students “battle” to see whose plankton can survive the longest by staying suspended in the water column. Resources are listed below. Plankton Wars:
Food Chain Checkers - Students pretend to be diatoms, copepods, herring, and orca whales as they discover how they are all connected. https://www.windows2universe.org/teacher_resources/checkers_20march.pdf