Bathymetric Mapping and Underwater Ecosystem Health

Lesson ③

Ecosphere Introduction



Prior to this lesson use the template provided to create cards with the words and pictures of living and nonliving things from your local underwater ecosystem (Appendix 4)

Student (per group)

Spheres Map (Appendix 3), living/nonliving things cards, Four Spheres website covering the Ecosphere (


Ask students how they think the things in their local underwater ecosystem are connected. Have them discuss for a few minutes.


Provide a list/pictures of living and nonliving things from their local underwater ecosystem.

Give students the Spheres Map. Have them work together to sort the living and nonliving things into which sphere they believe each item belongs in (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere). 


Go over each item that students have sorted. Have a discussion on where they believe each goes and the come to a decision.

See if students can determine the meaning of each sphere making up the Ecosphere. If they have trouble explain it to them. Use the spheres website to aid your discussion.

  • Atmosphere – air surrounding Earth
  • Geosphere – land or earth
  • Biosphere – living things
  • Hydrosphere – water 


Have the student groups rearrange their Sphere Maps and discuss their changes with others.


Informally assess while students are working in groups.