Marine Institute

The Ocean and Life in the Ocean Shape the Features of the Earth

The Ocean & Life in the Ocean Shape the Features of the Earth

Inspired by the Explorers and Tulca project called ‘A hydrothermal AdVENTure -  Build Your Own Unknown’, Mel has gone deep under the ocean to share some amazing resources about the extreme conditions under the ocean that continue to shape the features on the earth – under the ocean.   

Learning hydrothermal vents thousands of metres under the ocean and the strangest animals, children can use their scientific and creative skills producing a film and art pieces.

The Hydrothermal AdVENTure Teachers Guide may be downloaded in full for teachers to use in class.  We have included the following resources and activities below that you might like to try at home:


HYDROTHERMAL adVENTure POSTER: The poster provides some fun facts about the discovery of the Moytirra hydrothermal vent field in the Atlantic ocean.

CREATURE FEATURES AND CHEMOSYNTHESIS PRESENTATION: The presentation provides information about the life in the hydrothermal vent ecosystem. The science presentation introduces students to some of the unique creatures that live there and how the vents provide energy for them to survive through the process of chemosynthesis.

THE DEEP UNKNOWN PRESENTATION: The presentation helps students discover the Mid Atlantic Ridge and what lies beneath 3,000kms under the sea. The geography presentation provides an explanation of hydrothermal vents, what they are and how these physical features of our planet form.

STORYBOARD PRINTABLE TEMPLATE:The template can be used with the Explorers Lesson Plan on storyboarding.

CREATING A FILM: Check out the fantastic resources at FÍS Film Project to help provide you with tips on making a film.




People and places - Marine explorers and scientists

By using the famous VENTure expedition where the Moytirra hydrothermal vents field were discovered in the Mid-Atlantic, the students will learn about Dr Andy Wheeler, the chief scientist of this survey. Students can also learn about the people he works with on the research vessel, the RV Celtic Explorer.  

The deep unknown: discover the mid - Atlantic ridge and hydrothermal vents

Learning about the physical features of the world – under the ocean, students will learn about tectonic plates and underwater features such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The students will discover how hydrothermal vents form in this natural environment, deep under the ocean.


Creature features and chemosynthesis

The lesson provides an introduction to the process of life, learning about photosynthesis and chemosynthesis. It also introduces students the unusual creatures that inhabit this extreme environment, highlighting the variety and characteristics of living things at the bottom of the ocean.

Experimenting with dissolution       

The lesson allows students to explore the effects of water on materials. They will examine what happens to a range of solids in hot and cold liquid.


Myth behind Moytirra

The lesson introduces students to the naming of the Moytirra hydrothermal vents in the Mid-Atlantic. They will learn about how the name that was given to the largest hydrothermal vent was inspired by the Irish legend and story about Balor and the Battle of Moy Tura. The students will learn through readings of myths and legends from Irish culture.     


Storyboard your own deep sea voyage of discovery

Students will draft a storyboard for a film, imagining they are a team of marine scientists embarking on their own underwater voyage of discovery. They will interpret marine and scientific language and through a combination of the real and the imaginary, develop their own storyboard. A printable storyboard template can be downloaded from the resources list above.  


Build your own unknown film set design

The lesson enables students to imagine, design and construct their own film set using recycled materials and papier-mache that is inspired by the Moytirra hydrothermal vent field.     

Print your own hydrothermal vent field

The lesson enables students to respond to scientific footage about hydrothermal vents and visually interpret their findings through a two part printmaking process. The students will experiment with colour, line, shape and mark-making techniques to compose a print.

Shine a light shadow play    

The lesson enables students to differentiate between transparent, translucent and opaque materials and their different properties against light. Through a process of experimentation and creative play, students will create an underwater shadow scene.


Make sounds of the unknown through improvisation

The lesson will enable students to listen, imagine and create their own music, inspired by the discovery of the Moytirra hydrothermal vents. The students will select from a wide variety of sound sources such as voice, body percussion, improvised instruments and technology to generate sounds of the deep ocean, to accompany the storyboard/film.


Hydrothermal Fact or fiction game

The fact or fiction game can be used to test your knowledge about hydrothermal vents and the deep ocean.



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