Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity


Subject Area





This video explores the problem of overfishing, its impact on nearshore fishers, and one possible solution that can turn the tide of overfishing and protect near-shore fisheries for the future. It can be used as an introduction to a lesson on human impact on the environment or embedded within a lesson on the topic.

This learning activity was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

    Science (2015) Grade(s): 5


    Collect and organize scientific ideas that individuals and communities can use to protect Earth’s natural resources and its environment (e.g., terracing land to prevent soil erosion, utilizing no-till farming to improve soil fertility, regulating emissions from factories and automobiles to reduce air pollution, recycling to reduce overuse of landfill areas).

    Unpacked Content



    • Natural Resource
    • Scientific idea
    • Individual
    • Community
    • Terracing
    • Erosion
    • Soil
    • No-till farming
    • Fertility
    • Emissions
    • Pollution
    • Recycling
    • Landfill


    Students know:
    • Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life can have major effects, both positive and negative, on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air, and even outer space.
    • Individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth's resources and environments.


    Students are able to:
    • Obtain and combine information from books and/or other reliable media to explain how individuals and communities can protect Earth's natural resources and its environment.


    Students understand that:
    • Individual communities interact with components of environmental systems and can have both positive and negative effects.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Systems and System Models


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will define overfishing. 

    Students will analyze possible solutions to overfishing. 

    Students will generate additional strategies to slow the effects of overfishing.

    Activity Details

    *This video can be used to teach solely about overfishing or within a broader topic of the many impacts that humans have on the environment. This activity captures students' natural interest in life sciences. 

    1. Show the linked video to engage students and capture their attention to the problem of overfishing. 

    Questions to discuss after watching:

    • What is overfishing and why does it matter?
    • Describe the overfishing solution of TURF + reserve. How can this strategy help to solve the problem? 
    • Discuss other possible solutions to the overfishing problem. 
    • Overfishing is not the only problem faced by the ocean. Can you think of others (plastic pollution, waste dumping)? How can you reduce your impact on the oceans?
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Use informal assessment strategies such as exit tickets or questioning to check for understanding after viewing the video. This video should be used to bring awareness of the issue and a general understanding, but students may not necessarily understand the specific details of how overfishing harms the environment long-term. 

    Possible exit ticket questions:

    • Explain overfishing in your own words. 
    • Describe some solutions to overfishing that were discussed in the video or that we talked about in class. 

    Variation Tips

    Additional extensions to this lesson/discussion would be to have students research additional human effects on the oceans and design strategies to prevent harm to marine life (this could include bringing awareness to those in the community on the harmful effects of plastic, etc.).

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Computer with internet access will be needed to view this video. The teacher should view the video beforehand to ensure its appropriateness for the classroom content and to generate additional discussion points. 

    Digital Tools / Resources