Beautiful sea hawksbill turtle swiming above colorful tropical coral reef polluted with plastic bag

Learning objectives

To discover the causes of harm to the ocean and the actions that we can take to help.

Resources needed

  • A large rectangular piece of cardboard with all four sides raised up (this should be roughly 41 x 28 cm).
  • Cardboard or paper.
  • Four plastic bottle caps.
  • Garden netting (enough to fit over the cardboard tray).
  • Tissue paper of various colours.
  • Paints of various colours.
  • PVA glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Transparent sticky tape.
  • Felt tip pens.



  • Download the attached  booklet and complete each of the activities.
  • The activity booklet can be completed by working with friends and family. Working with others makes it more fun and engaging by creating a social experience. 
  • One of the activities requires a visit to the beach. This creates an outdoor learning experience, which also helps to boost and improve mental health. However, please ensure that you maintain social distancing when outdoors.
  • Completing the ghost net activity enables students to use their creativity and imagination to design images of the ocean.
Ocean image design example

How to put this idea into practice

The attached activities booklet can be downloaded and printed. Some of the activities only require a pen and paper while others involve crafting materials.
One part of this activity is to visit a beach or coastal area and make a list of items that do not belong there or have been washed up by the sea. This activity involves place-based and practical learning as the student decides what items are potentially harmful to the ocean.

Ways to include all learners

  • This activity booklet can be completed in any kind of educational setting, such as at home, in school, or in a youth club.
  • The activities have no time requirements, so students should be allowed to complete them at their own pace.
  • The booklet recommends a mixture of indoor and outdoor cognitive and practical activities to vary the type of learning that students are doing.

Research with Plymouth Institute of Education