Activity or Mini-Lesson

Surviving & Thriving in Cold Water

Sperm Whale
Ocean Exploration Trust

Anywhere in the world, the temperature of most water in the deep ocean is only 39 degrees F. Most seafloor creatures live at that temperature at all times. Most animals ROV Hercules encounters on the seafloor are invertebrates, which do not regulate body temperature like mammals. However, animals that infrequently visit the deep sea, like deep-diving whales, must have adaptations to handle the cold temperatures. In this lesson, using the 5E method (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate) students will research the various ways animals adapt to handle cold water as well as experiment with different strategies in a hands-on insulation lab!

Objectives & learning outcomes

Learners will explore ways marine animals have adapted for survival in cold water. Look for:

  • learners to use vocabulary from the discussion, videos, and STEM projects to analyze how marine animals have adapted for survival in cold waters.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Grade level

Grade level

Time & materials

Time & materials
Scale: one of three
Prep time and materials cost minimal, may require printing.



Find more resources

Grade level
Resource type

Search Education Resources