The California Academy of Sciences provides an excellent animation of a kelp forest habitat and ecosystem, and briefly discusses the interlinked nature of food webs. They have thoughtfully developed lesson plans with clear NGSS links that can be used alongside this resource:
Lesson Plan | Habitat Adaptation Matchup (More focused on the ocean in general)
For further information on kelp forests, and further activities, also see Kelp forest | Habitat from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For an even deeper dive into the Earth’s ocean, dive up to 10,924 meters here: https://neal.fun/deep-sea/
Through the ‘Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area’s’ Facebook page, students have access to learning about Los Angeles’ Mediterranean climate, our native flora and fauna, and what it’s like to be a Ranger. Rangers are reading stories that relate to the SMM’s ecosystem and habitats, as well as exploring the themes and topics in the Santa Monica Mountains Junior Ranger Activity Book, which is a great resource you can download for students to explore the outdoors (even if they can’t access the park right now). The videos can be attended live, or watched afterwards.
Explore keystone species across the globe through Google Earth. This interactive “click and drag” tool allows students to get some bonus geography learning done while they investigate biomes. To further develop students’ learning, they could pick one of the keystone species and research what makes them so vital to their habitat, and to consider what might happen if that species were lost.
Design a Background (K-5)
There are two options for this. You could have students create their own digital Zoom background, or create a background for their online class time using home resources like paper, sheets, recycling materials etc. Students then have to guess each other’s habitat, and what animals or plants might live there.