SEFCRI region teachers learn to identify reef fish at a special International Year of the Reef teacher training.

Photo: Christopher Boykin

SEFCRI region teachers learn to identify reef fish at a special International Year of the Reef teacher training.

The teachers from the special International Year of the Reef workshop onboard a snorkeling and glass bottom boat tour of reefs.

Photo: Ryan Westberry

The teachers from the special International Year of the Reef workshop onboard a snorkeling and glass bottom boat tour of reefs.

A yellow stingray that was seen on the snorkeling trip with teachers.

Photo: Ryan Westberry

A yellow stingray that was seen on the snorkeling trip with teachers.

This sea plume was one of many octocorals that the teachers observed on the snorkeling and glassbottom boat trip.

Photo: Ryan Westberry

This sea plume was one of many octocorals that the teachers observed on the snorkeling and glassbottom boat trip.

Seafan, smallmouth grunt and great starcoral from snorkel trip with teachers.

Photo: Ryan Westberry

Seafan, smallmouth grunt and great starcoral from snorkel trip with teachers.

  • SEFCRI region teachers learn to identify reef fish at a special International Year of the Reef teacher training.
  • The teachers from the special International Year of the Reef workshop onboard a snorkeling and glass bottom boat tour of reefs.
  • A yellow stingray that was seen on the snorkeling trip with teachers.
  • This sea plume was one of many octocorals that the teachers observed on the snorkeling and glassbottom boat trip.
  • Seafan, smallmouth grunt and great starcoral from snorkel trip with teachers.
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Lesson Plans and Activities: 9-12 Grade Students

Are You Concentrating?

Source: NOAA Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to explain the concept of concentration gradient, the effect of flow velocity on concentration gradients and the impor­tance of concentration gradients and flow velocity to the nutrition of reef-building corals.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to: http://www.uncw.edu/aquarius/education/lessons/Aq%20Concentrate.pdf

Blue Planet: Coral Seas

Source: Discovery School
Lesson Summary: Students will be work in small groups to identify basic information about coral polyps and coral reefs, coral reef habitats, and natural threats to coral reefs; create a poster related to one of these topics; and explain the topic to the class via a presentation. This lesson accompanies the Discovery Channel: Blue Planet Seas of Life series.
Grade Level: 6-8, adaptable to 9-12
Go to: http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/BP_coralseas/

Can’t Stand the Pressure

Source: Coral Reef Adventure Film
Lesson Summary: Students will construct a device to experiment with pressure, density, floating and sinking, and will make observations of these phenomena.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

Caution: Do Not Bleach!

Source: NOAA NOS
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to identify and explain five ways that coral reefs benefit human beings; identify and explain three major threats to coral reefs; describe major components of the Coral Reef Early Warning System; identify and discuss actions that can be undertaken to reduce or eliminate threats to coral reefs; discuss at least one hypothesis that explains why corals under stress may expel their zooxanthellae.
Grade Level: 9-12, adaptable to 6-8
Go to: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/lessons/coral_bleach.pdf
or http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/supp_coral_lessons.html

Coral Aging

Source: Nick Tagliareni
Lesson Summary: Using x-radiographs of slabbed coral cores, students will average coral growth rates over ten year increments and graph the results. To help students get a feel for the time frame associated with coral growth, they will identify world or U.S. events for some of the years listed.
Grade Level: 6-12
Go to: View PDF

Coral Crossword Challenge

Source: NOAA Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Lesson Summary: Students will complete a cross word using coral reef knowledge.
Grade Level: 6-12
Go to: http://www.uncw.edu/aquarius/education/lessons/Aq%20coral%20crossword.pdf

Coral Reef Book

Source: Discovery School
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to write and illustrate short books that explain to younger children how the animals that inhabit coral reefs are uniquely suited to their environment.
Grade Level: 6-8, adaptable to 9-12
Go to: http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/coralreefs/

Coral Reef Jeopardy

Source: Florida Sea Grant
Lesson Summary: Based on the game Jeopardy!, students will be challenged to compose the correct question when an answer is given related to coral reef biodiversity, reproduction, zonation, threats and facts about southeast Florida coral reefs.
Grade Level: 5-12
Go to: View PDF

Coral Spawning

Source: NOAA CHAMP
Lesson Summary: A simple and effective lesson that allows students to explain why corals gain some reproductive advantage by spawning all at once.
Grade Level: 6-8, adaptable to 9-12
Go to: View PDF 

Counting Fish Stix

Source: NOAA Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to describe and demon­strate a visual census technique commonly used to survey reef fish populations and analyze and interpret data from surveys of coral reef fish popula­tions.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to: http://www.uncw.edu/aquarius/education/lessons/Aq%20FishStix.pdf

Design a Fish

Source: Gulf of Maine Aquarium
Lesson Summary: Students will design a fish adapted for a coral reef and another for cold marine environments.
Grade Level: 6-12
Go to: http://octopus.gma.org/surfing/ocean/fish.html

Designing an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV):
Concepts in Lift, Drag, Thrust, Energy, Power, Mass, and Buoyancy

Source: NOAA Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Lesson Summary: Students will construct a model of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), explain how drag, thrust, and lift forces affect the performance of their model AUV, explain how their AUV can be designed to optimize drag, thrust, and lift forces, compare and contrast the locomotion of AUVs and aquatic organisms like fishes, sea turtles, or whales, explain the differ­ence between mass and buoyancy of an object immersed in water, and explain why AUVs and aquatic organisms need to adjust their buoyancy.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to: http://www.uncw.edu/aquarius/education/lessons/Aq%20AUV.pdf

Dive In!

Source: NOAA Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to explain Archimedes’ Principle, and explain how this principle applies to scientists working underwater; identify the source of atmospheric and underwater pressure, and explain how these pressures vary with alti­tude and depth; and identify two ways in which light is affected when it passes through water.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to: http://www.uncw.edu/aquarius/education/lessons/Aq%20Dive%20In.pdf

Effects of CO2 on Coral Reefs

Source: NOAA CHAMP
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to explain the role of carbon dioxide (CO2) in photosynthesis and cellular respiration and carbonic acid’s impact on
calcification and dissolution of coral skeletons, and its ability to influence pH.
Grade Level: 6-8, adaptable to 9-12
Go to: View PDF


Get Your Quadrats in Gear

Source: Coral Reef Adventure Film
Lesson Summary: Students will construct and use a quadrat (a simple piece of scientific gear) to gather data about their environment.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

The Good, the Bad and the Nasty Tasting

Source: NOAA Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to describe and explain chemical defense strategies used by many marine seaweeds and sessile invertebrates to protect them from predation, ward off dis­ease, help defend living space, and reduce the impact of environmental stresses; describe and explain at least three ways in which chemicals produced by marine organisms can benefit humans and describe a first-hand experience that demonstrates how chemical defenses can be effective at deterring predators.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to:
http://www.uncw.edu/aquarius/education/lessons/Aq%20Good%20Bad%20Nasty.pdf

Keeping Watch on Corals

Source: NOAA NOS
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to identify and explain five ways that coral reefs benefit human beings; identify and explain three major threats to coral reefs; describe major components of the Coral Reef Early Warning System; identify and discuss actions that can be undertaken to reduce or eliminate threats to coral reefs; obtain and analyze several types of oceanographic data from remote-sensing satellites.
Grade Level: 9-12, adaptable to 6-8
Go to: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/lessons/coral_mgmt.pdf
or http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/supp_coral_lessons.html

Microfishing Lesson Plan

Source: Woods Hole Sea Education Association
Lesson Summary: Students use a simple method to collect living microorganisms from natural and/or artificial environments and develop skills in microscopy, observation, drawing, speculation, hypothesizing, oral presentation, and raising questions. This activity arouses curiosity and provides a fascinating look at a world we rarely get to see.
Grade Level: 6-12
Go to: http://www.sea.edu/academics/k-12_detail/microfishing
 

Ocean Careers Exploration

Source: Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures
Lesson Summary: Students will gather information about the various careers of the members of the Ocean Adventure expedition team and learn about the strengths of having a team of diverse individuals working on a task.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: View PDF/

Pipeline to the Coral Reef

Source: NOAA Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Lesson Summary: How does upwelling affect nutrient availability to coral reefs? Students will be able to define and describe internal waves and explain their influence on coastal upwelling and analyze and discuss the effect of high nutrient concentrations caused by upwelling on the overall condition of Florida coral reefs.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to: http://www.uncw.edu/aquarius/education/lessons/Aq%20Pipeline.pdf

Pretty Smart for a Hammerhead

Source: Shedd Aquarium
Lesson Summary: Sharks are often viewed as primitive fishes. Yet, they have highly developed senses — even one that allows them to locate prey by sensing its electricity! Students will be able to model how sharks locate prey by sensing electrical charges and describe the function of the ampullae of Lorenzini.
Grade Level: 6-9
Go to: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/lesson_plans.cfm?id=32
or http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/search_results.cfm

Protecting the Reef is More Than Just a Game!

Source: Coral Reef Adventure Film
Lesson Summary: Students will understand that there are many actions, both positive and negative, that can affect the health of a coral reef.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

Reefs at Risk

Source: Shedd Aquarium
Lesson Summary: Each plant and animal is integral to the balance of life on the coral reef. Find out what could happen if any of these organisms should disappear. Students will make a mobile to represent the food pyramid of the coral reef and consider the impact of human activities on individual species and on the reef as a whole.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/lesson_plans.cfm?id=42
or http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/search_results.cfm

A Reef of Your Own

Source: NOAA NOS
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to describe and explain the importance of asexual and sexual reproductive strategies to reef-building corals; explain why it is important that reef-building corals have a nutritional strategy that includes both photosynthesis and carnivory; describe two behaviors that reef-building corals use to compete for living space with other species; explain how coral reefs can produce high levels of biological material when the waters surrounding these reefs contain relatively small amounts of the nutrients normally needed to support biological production.
Grade Level: 9-12, adaptable to 6-8
Go to: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/classroom/lessons/01_reef.pdf
or http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/supp_coral_lessons.html

Reef Partners Wanted

Source: Coral Reef Adventure Film
Lesson Summary: Students will identify several reef partnerships and describe how the organisms help each other.
Grade Level: 6-12
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

Remote Sensing and Coral Reefs

Source: NOAA Satellite and Information Service
Lesson Summary: Coral reef and ocean curriculum that includes seven lessons on: Remote Sensing and the Electromagnetic Spectrum, Altimetry, Phytoplankton and Ocean Color, Introduction to Coral Reefs, Symbiosis and Coral Anatomy, Sea Surface Temperature and Coral Bleaching, and Coral Reef Conservation.
Grade Level: 4-6, adaptable to 9-12
Go to: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/education/reef_remote_sensing.html

Sea Connections

Source: Smithsonian
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to identify producers and consumers from four marine ecosystems; describe the delicate balance among organisms in each environment; construct a food chain or web from a marine ecosystem; and list some of the human activities that can upset the balance in marine environments.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to:
http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/ocean/connect/essay.html

The Silt and Sediment of It All

Source: Coral Reef Adventure Film
Lesson Summary: Students will build an underwater habitat to observe the effects that sediment and other environmental changes have on plant life growing in the habitat.
Grade Level: 9-12
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

There are Lots of Fish in the Sea

Source: Shedd Aquarium
Lesson Summary: There are lots of fish in the sea — let's keep it that way! Many factors threaten the future of fish populations. Take part in a debate to look for solutions. Students will be able to identify threats to reef fish populations and debate solutions while considering multiple points of view.
Grade Level: 11-12
Go to: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/lesson_plans.cfm?id=53
or http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/search_results.cfm

Threat Ranking

Source: PADI
Lesson Summary: Students will brainstorm to identify perceived local threats to coral reefs; select those which they feel they could realistically help reduce; and rank those selected threats from most severe to least severe. The threat ranking promotes small group discussion and helps to identify local priorities for community-based conservation solutions.
Grade Level: 6-12
Go to: View PDF

Water Clarity

Source: Bermuda Biological Station for Research and the College of Exploration
Lesson Summary: Students will determine the relative clarity of different bodies of water and discuss why corals need clear water.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/felice_1.html

Water Salinity

Source: Bermuda Biological Station for Research and the College of Exploration
Lesson Summary: Students will determine the salinity of different samples of water using a variety of methods and discuss how corals can tolerate some variation in the salinity of their environment.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/felice_2.html

What if the Reef Dies?

Source: Bermuda Biological Station for Research and the College of Exploration
Lesson Summary: This lesson will provide opportunities to model, using simple laboratory materials, some aspects of reef ecology. In addition, student conclusions drawn from the activities will be referenced to known data. Finally, students will be asked to consider what they can do to insure reef survival.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/gail_2.html

Where’s the Salt?

Source: Bermuda Biological Station for Research and the College of Exploration
Lesson Summary: Students will show students how porous limestone filters saltwater.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/felice_3.html

Who Has the Data?

Source: NOAA NOS
Lesson Summary: Students will be able to describe and explain the importance of asexual and sexual reproductive strategies to reef-building corals; explain the need for baseline data in coral reef monitoring programs; identify and explain five ways that coral reefs benefit human beings; identify and explain three major threats to coral reefs.
Grade Level: 9-12, adaptable to 6-8
Go to: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/classroom/lessons/01_data.pdf
or http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/supp_coral_lessons.html

Working as a Team

Source: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Lesson Summary: Students will learn that interactions between organisms go beyond predator and prey.
Grade Level: 6-10
Go to: http://www.stri.org/english/visit_us/culebra/PDFs/lets_work_on_groups.pdf
or http://www.stri.org/english/visit_us/culebra/education.php