Spring Lesson Plan #1: Grade 9 (Sex in the Sea)



Sex in the Sea

Reproduction is essential if species are to survive. The type of reproduction employed by organisms is either asexual or sexual, although some can do both. Discover the weird and wonderful modes of reproduction utilized by marine animals at the Vancouver Aquarium!

This activity works best as a review of scientific concepts explored in class prior to the Vancouver Aquarium visit. Students should be familiar with the concepts of asexual and sexual reproduction as well as internal and external fertilization. Please see the section “Helpful Information” in the PDF for a link to background information on Aquarium animals.

Students Will Be Able To:

[1] identify examples of asexual and sexual reproduction

[2] compare different reproductive modes among species

[3] make inferences about the reproductive strategies used by various organism

Photo shared to social media should use the tags @ vanaqua, @OceanWise and #OceanWiseEducation. We love to see what the students discover in the galleries, so be sure to share your adventure with us.


Activity Sheet – Section One and Two (30 mins). Individually, in pairs, or in small groups, have students explore the galleries and complete sections 1 and 2 of the activity sheet.) If student choose to use digital cameras for section 1 please ensure you discuss their use beforehand. See “Helpful Information” for further details.

Class Re-group (10 min). In a pre-arranged meeting spot discuss students’ reactions to the assignment and address any identified issues (i.e. if they can’t find the animals, or determine reproductive characteristics etc). Have students share insights and/or troubleshoot together. Feel free to ask Aquarium staff for assistance.

Assignment completion – Section Three (30 – 45 min). While students are completing the reproductive strategies table, have them keep an eye out for other interesting reproductive strategies utilized by various animals around the Aquarium. Have them make note of this information on the back on their worksheets.

Pro Tips:

  • To avoid too many students trying to look at one exhibit/gallery at the same time, have different groups start at different geographic zones within the Aquarium (REMEMBER: Students under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult at all times, including in the 4D theatre)
  • This activity works best as a review of scientific concepts explored in class prior to a Vancouver Aquarium visit. Students should be familiar with the concepts of the needs of living things, and the importance of adaptations in aiding survival.
  • If you choose to have students completing activity sheets, then provide them with clipboards so they have a hard surface on which to draw and/or write.

Learning Objectives

Grade 9

Big Ideas:

  • life processes are performed at the cellular level
  • the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere are interconnected as matter cycles and energy flows through them (this impacts the conditions necessary for reproduction)

Curricular Competencies:

  • compare sexual and asexual reproduction in terms of advantages and disadvantages
  • represent and interpret information in graphic form


  • local environments contain diverse ecosystem with many roles and relationships
  • Interconnected systems sustain healthy ecosystems
  • Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
  • Humans can play a role in conservation and restoration of ecosystems
  • Organisms are grouped on the basis of identifiable similarities
  • Science informs our decisions and impacts our daily lives
  • The body strives to maintain homeostasis
  • All living things are made of cells, which contain DNA and cell structures that allow cells to survive and reproduce

  • Download the attached PDF for the full lesson plan. Included in the document are suggestions for pre-visit preparation, working with chaperones, and tailoring the activity to suit your needs.

Continue to Spring Lesson Plan #2: Grade 8 to 12 (Sustainable Seafood) »