Ocean Literacy Scope & Sequence for Grades K-12

The Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K–12 is an instructional tool that provides guidance to educators to help their students’ achieve a full understanding about the ocean in ever more complex ways across years of thoughtful, coherent science instruction. The content is provided as conceptual flow diagrams for each of the seven Ocean Literacy Essential Principles in four grade bands: K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12.

Are you new to conceptual flow diagrams? See the Introduction to Conceptual Flow Diagrams for a description of how to use these documents. View the Ocean Literacy Alignment Matrix to see how the Scope and Sequence aligns with the seven Essential Principles and 45 Fundamental Concepts of Ocean Literacy.


Download conceptual flow diagrams for each Essential Principle at each Grade Band below.

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Principle #1

The Earth has one big ocean with many features.

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Principle #5

The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.

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Principle #2

The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.

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Principle #6

The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.

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Principle #3

The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.

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Principle #7

The ocean is largely unexplored.

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Principle #4

The ocean made Earth habitable.


Download the conceptual flow diagrams for all Essential Principles at each Grade Band below.

Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12