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Crash Course


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Videos, 11 minutes, 2 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


How Do Oceans Circulate?

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  • This video discusses how and why oceans circulate, the major ocean circulation patterns, how ocean circulation patters affect global weather patterns and regional climates, and the issue of plastic waste in the oceans. 
  • It shows the importance of these ocean currents to maintain important fisheries, biodiversity hotspots, global transport routes, and regional weather patterns. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video breaks down the content and provides nice animations and images to support the narrative.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video does a nice job of defining terms, but students should be familiar with basic geography and properties of water.


  • This is video can be incorporated into classes and lessons about plastic pollution, oceans, climate, marine life, density, salinity, pressure gradients, and the Coriolis effect.
  • Social studies classes could use parts of this video to connect the vulnerability of many communities to changes in ocean circulation patterns caused by climate change.
  • This is a great video for geography, biology, Earth science, and marine science classes.
  • Other resources on this topic include Interactive Exploration of Coral Bleaching, Into the Dead Zone, this video about coral reefs, and this StC lesson plan about carbon sinks.
Scientist Notes
The resource explains the process of ocean current and wind pattern in influencing global atmospheric circulation and climate. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-4. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.3 Understand and evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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