Creatures of the Chesapeake Lesson Starters

Dive beneath the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay with elementary students and discover a vibrant ecosystem through macro photography.

Use the elementary-level lesson starters to explore the biodiversity of the animals and organisms in the Bay. Select a topic below to find video clips, essential and guiding questions, learning extensions, and other student supports to use in your classroom.


Oysters are essential for keeping the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem healthy and balanced. How exactly do these small, simple-shelled organisms help the Bay in such a great way?

> Go to Oyster Recovery Solutions Lesson

Many creatures of the Chesapeake Bay have weak vision or don’t have any vision at all. The Chesapeake blue crab and moon jellyfish are examples of two such creatures. So, how are these organisms able to hunt prey and eat food with weak vision or without any vision at all?

> Go to Senses of the Chesapeake Creatures Lesson

Lined seahorses and oyster toadfish are among many of the diverse and unique species found in the Chesapeake Bay. So, what do these two different species have in common?

> Go to Unique Structures of Seahorses and Oyster Toadfish Lesson

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most unique estuaries in all of the United States. When most people think of the Bay, they mainly think of water, which is part of Earth’s hydrosphere. However, the Bay is so much more than that.

> Go to Earth Systems and the Bay Lesson

Horseshoe crabs are another unique species that makes its habitat in the Chesapeake Bay. One special thing about horseshoe crabs is that they rely on patterns in space in order to function and survive. How can an organism that lives underwater use the moon to help it?

> Go to How Horseshoe Crabs are Impacted by Patterns in Space Lesson

This learning resource is a production of Maryland Public Television/Thinkport.