Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean: That’s a Whole Lot of Water!

The Atlantic Ocean is huge. In fact, only one ocean is bigger: the Pacific.

The U. S. has 14 states that border the Atlantic. The coastal states that have shorelines on the Atlantic Ocean are, from north to south, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

The Atlantic Ocean is so big that it covers about 20% (one-fifth) of the Earth’s surface. It separates the continents of of North and South America (on the west) from Europe and Africa (on the east). To its north is the Arctic Ocean, and to its south is the Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean.

As you can see from the map, that’s a whole lot of water!

Bright Ideas

Quotes About Nature

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.”
John Ruskin

“The landscape belongs to the man who looks at it.”
Henry David Throeau

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Albert Einstein

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters.”
John Lubbock

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds us in its net of wonder forever.”
Jacques Cousteau

Nifty Fifty

About New England

It’s a Fact: New England is a region in the northeast corner of the United States. It’s known for its rugged coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a Fact: New England is made up of six states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Five of the six states border the Atlantic Ocean. Only Vermont does not.

It’s a Fact: In search of religious freedom, the Pilgrims left England, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and came to America on a ship called the Mayflower. They landed at Plymouth Rock (in what is now Massachusetts) in 1620.

It’s a Fact: The largest city in New England is Boston. The Boston Tea Party occurred there on December 16, 1773 when colonists dumped British tea into the Boston Harbor to protest unfair taxes. The Tea Party was one of the key events leading up to the American Revolution.

It’s a Fact: The first Dunkin’ Donuts was opened in New England. Duncan D’s #1 opened in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950. Quincy Bay (which is part of the larger Boston Harbor) is on the Atlantic Ocean.

More Fun Facts
Fun Fact: The average depth of the Atlantic Ocean is about 11,900 feet, which is about 3,600 meters. That’s means the Atlantic is, on average, over 2 miles deep.

Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean is divided into two parts: the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean.

A View of the Ocean

Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean is home to some of the world’s best fishing zones. Several of the very best fishing areas are in the cold waters of the North Atlantic.

Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the manmade Panama Canal, which was opened on August 15, 1914. The canal is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.

Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean has thousands of islands. Greenland, which is in the North Atlantic, is the largest island in the world (not counting Australia, which is a continent). About 80% of Greenland is covered by a sheet of ice that’s over a mile thick. If all the ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet melted, the sea level would rise 24 feet! Thank goodness it’s cold up there!

Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean has a shape that looks something like the letter “S.” Look at the map and see if you agree.

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.

How many U.S. states border the Atlantic Ocean: 4, 14, 24, or 54?
14 states border the Atlantic Ocean. From north to south, they are: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida

How much of the Earth's surface does the Atlantic Ocean cover? Is it 1/5 (20%), or 1/2 (50%), or 2/3 (66%)?
The Atlantic Ocean covers 1/5 of the Earth’s surface. One fifth (1/5) is equal to 20%.

Which of the following states is NOT in New England? Is it Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maryland?
Maryland is not in New England. The other three states are.

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean to another ocean? Is it the Antarctic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, or the Pacific Ocean?
The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from if you like.

Story Idea #1: You can write about some of the amazing things you learned about the Atlantic Ocean.


Story Idea #2: Imagine that you have a big, ocean-going boat with a captain and a crew. What would it be like to take a cruise across the Atlantic Ocean? Where would you like to go?

To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a Riddle for You:
What's the most famous fish in the Atlantic Ocean?
The star-fish.

The Mystery Ryders

For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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