Appalachian Headwaters

Lesson Plan: Under the Sea in West Virginia



Develop an understanding of West Virginia’s origins under an ocean, how it has shaped our economy throughout history, and how we impact the oceans today.


  • West Virginia’s past, present and future is connected to the ocean.
  • West Virginia’s economy — past and present — is rooted in our geological history.
  • Our activities in West Virginia impact ocean health worldwide.

Knowledge (K) and Skills (S)

K: West Virginia used to exist under a shallow ocean.

K: Coal, limestone and salt are examples of products of West Virginia from our underwater past.

K: Paleontologists study fossils to understand the development of life in our region.

K: Geologists study rock formations to understand the formation of our landscape.

K: We have an important role in reducing pollution in our oceans.

S: Describe the origins of important products — coal, limestone and salt — from our underwater past.

S: Identify fossilized remains in our landscape.

S: Explain how West Virginia is connected to the ocean today.