Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea Teacher Sheet

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea Teacher Sheet


After reading the book Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor, students should answer the following questions using what they learned from the book.

When and how did Marie Tharp first discover her love of maps?
She discovered her love of maps in the 1930s when she was a girl with her father whose job it was to make soil maps for farmers.

Name some obstacles that Marie faced when she tried to have a career as a scientist.
Because she was a woman, people thought she wasn't capable enough to be a scientist, and one boss told her it was bad luck to have a woman on a ship, so she wasn't allowed to go out on research trips. 

What exciting idea did Marie and her colleague Bruce Heezen have about the oceans?
Their idea was that the seafloor could be mapped (it never had been before).

What are some ways that people measured the depth of the oceans?
One example is through lowering weighted ropes and making "soundings" with sound waves.

What did Marie use to map the seafloor?
She collected all the soundings available and used them to draw a map on a big sheet of paper.

What was the important thing that Marie noticed about the Atlantic Ocean's seafloor?
She noticed that a deep, narrow valley divided the seafloor of the mid-Atlantic into two parts.

What idea (or "hypothesis") did Marie's map show to be true?
It showed that the entire surface of th earth is divided into several gigantic parts or plates, and that these plates are forced apart by earthquakes and volcanoes occurring along the plate edges. The hypothesis is called "plate tectonics" or "continental drift."

This teacher sheet is a part of the Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea lesson.

Did you find this resource helpful?