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Home > Lesson Plans & Activities > Education on the Halfshell

Education on the Halfshell

Using Oysters to Teach Biological Concepts

Education on the Halfshell lessons are written by teachers, for teachers to introduce your students to the American oyster, “sentinel” of the estuary.

Each lesson includes:

  • Background information
  • Blackline masters
  • Alternative assessments
  • Answer keys
  • Extension ideas
  • Resources and web links
  • Correlations to the Louisiana and National Science Education Standards


  • Understanding a Dichotomous Key – students will learn to use a dichotomous key by identifying various sea shells.
  • Creating a Dichotomous Key – students will explore the benefits of creating dichotomous keys as a means of identifying an organism or object.
  • Writing a Descriptive Essay – students will lean how to write a descriptive essay as a means of identifying an organism or object.
  • Oyster Culture Cycle – students will understand the fragile balance of providing food for our growing population and learn how the oyster hatchery can help with this balance.