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  • In the Connected article Catch my drift, students learn about phytoplankton – tiny floating organisms that form the base of the marine food web. The article looks at two types of phytoplankton – dinoflagellates and diatoms.

    Key science concepts include:

    • roles of producers and consumers
    • energy transfer within food webs
    • photosynthesis (on land and in the water)
    • adaptations
    • the role of phytoplankton in the carbon cycle.

    The article contains diagrams and images that can be used to help students practise the science capability ‘Interpret representations’.

    Check your school resource area for this article from the 2012 level 4 Connected journal ‘Oceans: a source of life’ or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from TKI (PDF file available). It includes three activities to support understanding about adaptations, food webs and the transfer of energy within and between food webs.

    Related content

    Discover more about plankton and plankton in the Ross Sea.

    Marine adaptations and marine food webs are two of the science concepts featured in our curation about life in the sea.

    Use this interactive to explore the marine ecosystem.

    Learn more about the important role of the ocean in the carbon cycle.

    Nearly invisible to the naked eye, marine microbes drift continually in our ocean systems. Find out how you can help scientists learn more about their habitat using the Adrift citizen science project.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful links

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 14 September 2019 Referencing Hub articles
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