Winged Ambassadors – Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatross

The classroom activity package Winged Ambassadors – Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatross is available free online courtesy of NOAA, Oikonos, and other partners. Albatrosses, charismatic and threatened seabirds, are ambassadors for a clean ocean because they traverse vast oceanic regions searching for floating food. Along their journeys, they ingest plastic trash and feed it to their chicks. These five lessons comprise new and modified activities, using inquiry-based science instruction, aligned to new standards for grades 6 – 8 with extensions for grades 9 – 12.

Lesson 1: Introduction to Seabirds
Lesson 2: Tracking Albatross Migrations
Lesson 3: Protecting Ocean Hotspots
Lesson 4: Bolus Analysis
Lesson 5: Campus Debris Survey

Each lesson includes:

  • Lesson plan with learning objectives and procedures;
  • An outline of necessary materials and preparation;
  • Time estimates;
  • Suggested discussion questions and possible answers;
  • Ideas for differentiating activities for diverse learners;
  • Expanded resources, videos and links.

Download the activity package for free at

Hands holding a bolus.
Image: David Liittschwager

Albatross Bolus Activity

A new interactive albatross bolus sorting and measuring activity is now available as part of Lesson 4. The activity allows students to identify evidence of natural prey items as well as various types of ingested ma-rine debris. An ID Guide and Bolus Dissection Worksheet are included.

View the activity at

Large boulders provide habitat for primnoid corals.
Image: NOAA

This activity package was produced by Oikonos - Ecosystem Knowledge and Meghan Marerro in collaboration with Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument with funding from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Pacific Islands region, and West Coast region.