MY HERO Multimedia Ocean Conservation Resources for Middle School Students

For Homeschooling and Virtual Education to Enrich Learning Connected to the UN Sustainability Goal #14 Life Below Water

The Kelp Lady

Produced by:Anabelle Vo

Students watch the film The Kelp Lady featuring marine biologist Nancy Caruso.

1. A Food Web consists of all the food chains within a single ecosystem. Students create a food web of the kelp ecosystem. This can be done as a poster or other type of presentation that can be shared.

2. What impact would changes to the kelp ecosystem have on the environment and other species? Students write a paragraph or paragraphs about the importance of kelp to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

The Importance of Coral Reefs and Conservation Efforts 

Students watch the following films, or a selection of films, before considering the questions and research activity. 

Gwala Rising in the Bwanabwana Islands

Produced by:Whitney Yadao-Evans, Niquole Esters, and Jennifer Shoemaker

Gwala Rising in the Bwanabwana Islands depicts the revitalization of traditional conservation practices in the islands of Papua New Guinea. (13 min.)

360 Coral Reefs - Live below the surface

Hendrik S. Schmitt

Join us on a journey through the Coral Triangle and its coral reefs. These underwater gardens have the largest biodiversity of life on Earth. (5 min.)

Series of Solutions: Restoring Coral Reefs

Produced by:Center for Ocean Solutions & Conservation Media Group

Series of Solutions explores the heroes who are working on tangible solutions for ocean conservation. (4 min.)

Students watch the film Mary Saves Coral and read the essay about Dr. Mary Hagedorn, an expert in aquatic cryobiology, written by a high school student, before considering the questions and activities.

Help Mary Save Coral

Produced by:Miranda Andersen from CANADA

FILM: One woman's effort to save the world's underrated natural resource, coral. (10:20 min.)

Help Mary Save Coral

By: Amanda Molinaro from Irvine

STORY: Help Mary Save Coral works to repopulate the world's coral.

Discussion Questions and Activities

1. How does marine biodiversity depend on coral reefs? 

2. What are the consequences of coral reef destruction to marine and human life?

3. Why are coral reefs facing extinction, and what role do humans play?

4. What are the biggest challenges to coral conservation?

5. What steps are being done to preserve and restore coral reefs?

6. How does the use of fossil fuels contribute to the destruction of coral?

7. How does climate warming contribute to the destruction of coral?

Research Activity

Do further research on one of the following topics: coral bleaching, coral restoration, marine biodiversity and coral reef ecosystems, or causes and consequences of coral reef destruction. Who is working towards a solution? Write an essay based on your research, include proper citations and submit your story to MY HERO for publication. 



 Watch The Last Straw and Consider the Questions

The Last Straw

Produced by: Lynne Cherry

Milo Cress is concerned about the millions of straws that pollute waterways, waste fossil-fuel resource and harm ocean creatures. He convinces restaurants to “go straw-free.” 

1. In the film The Last Straw, Milo Cress identified a problem, got others involved and created an action plan. Reflect on the usage of plastic straws in your community. Are there ways you can be inspired by Milo and reduce the use of straws where you live?

2. What detrimental effect has plastic had on the health of our oceans? How has this problem developed over time? What can be done to improve the situation?

3. Identify bodies of water in your community or part of the world. Who is working towards keeping these bodies of water clean and protected? What can you do to help?


Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

How to use MY HERO's Create Program to Publish Stories, Art, Film and Audio for Students

Tutorial for students: Publish written stories, film, original artwork and audio in MY HERO's multimedia library.

Create Program
Credit: MY HERO

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.

Additional MY HERO Environmental Films Organized by Grade Level, Selected Environmental Films by Category and Sylvia Earl Ocean Conservation Award-Winning Films from the MY HERO International Film Festival.


By: Wendy Milette

These films are under 10 minutes and feature environmental heroes fighting to protect our precious planet.

Green Shorts - Select Environmental Films by Category

By: Wendy Milette

View these outstanding environmental films to learn about heroes who are fighting for the health of our planet.

Ocean Heroes - Short Film Screening

By: Wendy Milette

View the finalist films - 2019 Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award!

Additional MY HERO Multimedia Content Related to UN Sustainability Goal #14: Life Below Water

Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water Lesson Plan

By: Laura Nietzer

Share the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goal #14 (Life Below Water).

Environmental Education Resources

Subject: Oceans! This model environmental science curriculum is K-12 Common Core-aligned and based on the partnership of many ocean conservation organizations. Each subcategory includes short films and lessons with suggested age levels. Teachers Resource Guide included.

For Additional Resources and Lesson Plans, Go to the MY HERO Lesson Plan Center

Lesson Plan Center
Credit: MY HERO

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Organizer created on 3/17/2020 10:00:13 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 4/7/2020 4:30:15 PM by Shannon Luders-Manuel