Life Science

Coral Reef Ecosystems

Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:15 PM

Hi All,
I feel we don't put much emphasis in school on the importance of coral reefs and the ocean in general. I like the simulation on making a coral reef - it was really simple to understand and quite clear. I realize that is not a topic normally taught in life science classes because of the amount of information that needs to be covered...but I wonder, if I integrate some aspects of coral reef ecosystems (current) mixed with paleotology evidence (fossile), would middle school students be able to make a connection to not only learn about different marine critters - but also, consider them in terms of climate issues? I think it can be done and I have some ideas...which as I formulate, will let you know...but I would love to get some input from our community out there for suggestions. I want to give it a go because living in Hawaii, the coral reef is a natural part of their lives.

Cynthia Fong
Cynthia Fong
3245 Activity Points

Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:39 PM

Hi Cindy! Sounds like a great idea, you can incorporate the cyle of matter and food chain/web and the different tropic levels. You could also talk about how living things depend on other living things and of course nonliving things too.....ecosystem and biosphere. There must be a way to "bring" a coral reef ecosystem into the classroom via video. Lots of my students (and me) are visual learners and need to visually "see" in order to understand the concepts. Have fun with this unit! You have great ideas!

Robin Fujioka
Robin
1390 Activity Points

Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:23 PM

The pictures in the coral reefs SciPac are beautiful and well organized. I was thinking of selecting about 8 or more, making color copies, and having students create 5.5" x 8" booklets. Using my projector, I want to show parts of the SciPac, (quizzes included) in class and they can take notes to explain the concepts around the pictures and for testing their own comprehension about the coral reef ecosystem. Then the other students in class can do a peer review of the booklets, making comments on post-it notes. I think the final product will be something they can include in the Personal Transition Plans. I did this once with another project and I found that most of the students would just comment "good job", so it is important to show them examples of how to write valuable review comments.

Jennifer Perry
Jennifer Perry
2250 Activity Points

Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:57 PM

I have used the coral reef as a focus when teaching about aquatic biomes. I would like to go into more depth but I find that I do not have the time in order to meet all the benchmarks. There is a great virtual lab provided free by McGraw Hill that allows me to connect both the content and the focus of coral reef ecosystems. There are many different variables and factors for the students so that every student should be able to conduct an individualized experiment.

http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/virtual_labs/BL_24/BL_24.html

Renee Hashimoto
Renee Hashimoto
1555 Activity Points

Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:08 PM

Hey Cindy,
Did you look into Mokupaapaa downtown? They had something in the paper last week. I know they focus a lot about Marine Science. It's just a short walk from your school.

Robin Fujioka
Robin
1390 Activity Points

Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:05 PM

Cindy,
I am so glad you are pursuing coral reef information. It had never really dawned on me until I was going through the coral reefs sci-pack that north of the Tropic of Cancer does not have the coral reef growth that we have at our latitude. I guess I just never went snorkeling in those areas like Japan or nothern California. According to the sci-pac, this is due more to the reduced penetration of sunlight. Does anyone know if there are videos of coral reefs at different latitudes? Is there noticeable difference as you go up the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands chain?

Jennifer Perry
Jennifer Perry
2250 Activity Points

Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:22 AM

Hey Cindy,
I too was impressed with the Coral Reef Sci pack that our team decided to do a project on coral reef awareness. When i read the coral reef are like the rainforests of the ocean it was actually quite powerful. There are so many things that can and do damage the coral reef and I feel students would be great at creating public awareness. We are planning in producing a brochure, flip chart, Or PSA I'll tell u how it goes.

Gerry Clarin
Gerry Clarin
2125 Activity Points

Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:45 AM

Hi Renee - I also feel like I've shortchanged coral reef in the aquatic biomes unit in my environmental science class. There's just so much info to cover from the shore to the trenches! Maybe I need to focus on reefs more in the Global Changes unit (oceans getting more acidic - effects). Thanks for sharing the reef tank simulation! I will definitely use it in both my marine science and environmental science classes.


"I have used the coral reef as a focus when teaching about aquatic biomes. I would like to go into more depth but I find that I do not have the time in order to meet all the benchmarks. There is a great virtual lab provided free by McGraw Hill that allows me to connect both the content and the focus of coral reef ecosystems. There are many different variables and factors for the students so that every student should be able to conduct an individualized experiment.

http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/virtual_labs/BL_24/BL_24.html"

Sharon Chern
Sharon Chern
2640 Activity Points

Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:55 PM

Hi Jennifer,
I really like your idea about printing out a selection of pictures from the coral reef SciPac! I also used an old calendar that featured coral reefs for the students to use within their books. Creating their own non-fiction book and adding information from the lessons will allow me to intergrate reading into science. I've been looking for ways to combine the two! My students often use fiction for learning most of their reading stratigies. This topic is an interesting way for me to visit the non-fiction benchmarks such as text features/structures. We can even include art in this project to engage the students even more!

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Tara Soleta
1560 Activity Points

Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:00 PM

Hi All,

Thanks for the awesome replies. All very useful and enlightening.

Renee – I appreciate the link, very nice simulation. I’m going to give it a try – I really like how the simulation provides a process to make a coral reef and when looking at it, it was the impetus to start clarifying my thought to develop my lesson plan (I never take the easy way…but it certainly will be fun).

For my lesson, I am going to attempt to have students make a connection of a current reef ecosystem versus a “fossilized” one. I'll see what index fossils are present (in my collection, the school's, and was is common around here). I’ll focus on the Permian Reef complex that is part of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park (west Texas – and in an area I grew up in, visited during field camp and I have actual fossils to show them from the surrounding area). This should have both a visual and physical aspect to it while also using technology if a park ranger is available. They have started a new online field trip called the Sea to Shining Sea program in which students can interact with a park ranger at some of their sites there in real time. It will be a first for me, but it will be a different experience and hopefully expand my students thinking. I do have a particular fondness for the area and make connections there to Hawaii would be cool. Plus - it would be a different way for my students to view the world.

Robin – I have definitely interacted with Mokupaapaa. I will attempt to set something up as they do have a wet lab in which school groups can come in and have a different experience. It’s pretty cool and an excellent resource. My main challenge is to develop and present a lesson that fits within an earth/space science class. Technically, we don’t have any life science standards to cover during this school year, but there are a lot of related materials and concepts that I can include and well, most importantly, there is a lot of student interest which is not yet being addressed. Which is why I decided to go for this particular PD.

Jennifer – definitely different types of reefs. What I discovered this summer while on the East coast, we were visiting friends at Woods Hole and they have a small but comprehensive aquarium. Do you realize that tropical fish/marine critters are frequently found in the summer up there due to the Gulf stream currents? Unfortunately, these critters die over the winter when it freezes but it was flabbergasting for me...I just had not put the current stream and the possibility that marine critters do travel via the currents.

Thanks everyone for the wonderful commentaries. Keep it going and I’ll let you know more on how this lesson idea pans out. For the geologist in me, I think combining an aspect of paleontology to current coral reefs will be the best way to approach teaching it within my class and still cover the standards I am expected to address.

Cynthia Fong
Cynthia Fong
3245 Activity Points

Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:36 PM

Just wanted to share…
As I searched online to find ideas for a unit on oceans and ecosystems, I came across this website: http://seagrant.uaf.edu/marine-ed/curriculum/home.html
The Alaska Seas and Rivers Curriculum page includes units from K-8th grade.

Primary lessons (K-2)
• Discovering Our Blue Planet
• Plants and Animals of Seas and Rivers
• At Home in the Water

Upper Elementary (3-5)
• Rivers to the Sea and Back Again
• The Case of the Missing Sea Otter
• Humans and the Ocean

Middle School (6-8)
• Exploring the Ocean
• Ocean in Motion
• Our Changing World

The unit I looked at was a grade 4 unit: The Case of the Missing Sea Otter
The four investigations covered the following:
• Organisms in aquatic habitats interact with and depend on one another in various ways.
• An ecosystem is a community of living things with its physical environment, functioning as a unit.
• Science is a way to help us study the many connections in our world.
I think these investigations will help students understand that the ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems. I may try to adapt one of these lessons for my class. Like the many other teachers in Hawaii I will probably focus on our beautiful coral reefs, but still wanted to share this website.
Thanks
Dawn

Dawn Nishimoto
Dawn Nishimoto
3015 Activity Points

Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:02 PM

Hi everyone, my name is Brenda and I was really excited to see this thread. I recently did a science unit on the topic of my choice and I choose coral reefs. I choose coral reefs in particular because I wanted to learn more about them myself and I found an abundance of information. Coral reefs are truly the “rain forest of the ocean” and they can be used to teach a variety of science topics. My unit plan required that I write 3 lesson plans using the 5E instructional model. I struggled with deciding what to include in my three lessons because there is truly so many topics to pick from!
The following is a great resource for teachers which include simple explanations and many great activities.
Walker, S. H., Newton, R.A, Ortiz, A. (1997) Coral reefs: An English/Spanish compilation of activities for middle school students. Cincinnati, OH: National Center for Environmental Publications and Information.

Brenda Ontiveros
Brenda Ontiveros
2430 Activity Points

Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:10 PM

I want to share to everyone in this thread that I just finished my scipack on coral reef. It was awesome experience. I never thought that I would be able to learn almost of half of the Biology curriculum through the material and more. This is amazing. I was hesitant at first to take the lesson, but I realized when I finished that it was a complete biology package, and I learned the real-life connection I've always wanted of learning something.

Attachments

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:30 PM

Cindy wrote, "I’ll focus on the Permian Reef complex that is part of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park (west Texas – and in an area I grew up in, visited during field camp and I have actual fossils to show them from the surrounding area). This should have both a visual and physical aspect to it while also using technology if a park ranger is available."

Hi Cindy,

I am located in the middle of the continental United States. I have also used a nearby fossilized coral reef with my earth science and biology classes. The one I use is very small in comparison to the formation in the Guadalupe Mountains....I'm thinking a road trip is in order. :)

I am intrigued by the Sea to Shining Sea Program. Can you tell the thread a little more about it? I would be interested in my classes virtually visiting a living coral reef.

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
58245 Activity Points

Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:31 PM



I would like to share to the NSTA community about Tubbataha Reef in Palawan, Philippines. I consider it both a natural wonder for science and beauty.

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:41 PM

Home to some of the world’s most unique and beautiful coral reefs is the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. Basically the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is a marine sanctuary, which is responsible for the protection and preservation of the Tubbataha atoll coral reef, owing to the various endangered species that are found in this place. It came into being in August 11th, 1988, when the then President of Philippines, Corazon Aquino, declared it a National Marine Park. Since then, it has been inscribed into the World Heritage Site in December 1993, by UNESCO, and has also been nominated as one of the modern 7 wonders of nature.

Read more: Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park - UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sulu Sea - Philippines

Source: http://www.philippines-hotels.ws/attractions/tubbataha-reef.htm

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:54 PM

Watch this video on an amazing underwater ecosystem: click here.


Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:59 PM

Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:07 PM

Absolutely Amazing Video. Thanks for Sharing.

LA

Lorrie Armfield
Lorrie Armfield
51413 Activity Points

Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:53 AM

Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:29 AM

Thanks Lorrie.

Fyi, Tubbataha Reef was one of the top contenders in Asia in the recent search for the 7 natural wonders where The underground river, a neighboring natural wonder from the same province of Palawan, got a spot.

http://sevennaturalwonders.org/asia/tubbataha-reef

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:45 PM

Ronaldo, this should definitely be shared with our k-6 science educators. What an incredible resource.

LA

Lorrie Armfield
Lorrie Armfield
51413 Activity Points

Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:49 PM

I do agree Lorrie.

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:09 PM

The coral reef food chain is complex and children will definitely not able to exhaust the combinations of food chains thereof.

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:21 PM

Wow. Simply beautiful.

LA

Lorrie Armfield
Lorrie Armfield
51413 Activity Points

Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:21 PM

Ronaldo, what a wonderful resource. Thank you! I lived in Hawaii for many years and that's what started my salt water facination.

I am really into salt water aquariums (I do aquacultured corals and tank-bred fish). I was on a site that I normally buy from and noticed there was a section called "Divers Den". I suddenly got very interested in learning about coral reef preservation, so that year, while I was teaching 7th grade environmental Science, we did a lot of activities.

I have looked through the Coral Reef Sci pack, and I truly was thinking that I could incorporate it into both food webs and the oceans unit. Of course I'll have to make a little room, but it is totally worth it!

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart
7755 Activity Points

Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:36 PM

Great discussion thread! Now I'm totally inspired to add in a unit on Coral Reef Biodiversity in to my upcoming second semester high school Biology class and a unit on fossil coral reefs into my high school Geology course for spring term.

Maybe I can even get a project going that connects the two subjects/classes in shared research and information sharing! :-)

I just had to look up the Sea to Shining Sea Program mentioned in an earlier post and found a website link to share. Sea to Shining Sea http://seatoshiningsea.org/
I'm not sure from the website, but do you need to be trained in the curriculum or is it just available for teacher use via their website?

Thanks for the teaching inspiration everyone! Awesome photos on the discussion thread too.

Dorothy

Dorothy Ginnett
Dorothy Ginnett
27525 Activity Points

Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:31 PM

You're very welcome Brandy. Actually in my facebook account, this month of january is my advocacy for marine life preservation and coral reef education. I really love to explore the topic!

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador
45280 Activity Points

Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:36 PM

HI Cynthia,
I just complete the coral reef scipack and really learned a lot! Living in Hawaii, it is only natural to bring it into your curriculum and tie it into other areas of your studies. They would enjoy the interactives and the beauty of life in the coral reef, which you can make into a slideshow as well. You can bring in climate and it's effect on the whole ecosystem of the coral reef. I didn't realize just how delicate the reefs are. It is also a great opportunity to educate your students on how they can be responsible and help sustain the reef.
When I taught first grade, we studied the coral reef through the perspective of how animals have structures to protect themselves. The Waikiki aquarium has a great program for elementary students and I wonder if they speak to/teach older students.
Best wishes in your teaching!
Lori :)

Lori Kuwahara
Lori Kuwahara
500 Activity Points

Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:23 AM

Ronaldo your photos of the T reef is amazing. Is there much tourist traffic to these corals? I live in Hawaii, and much of the coral reefs accessible from the beach have been severely damaged due to overuse and carelessness. It's important to focus on prevention and preservation since corals grow at such a slow rate. Thank you.

Sharon Chern
Sharon Chern
2640 Activity Points

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:28 AM

Hi Jennifer,
I've never thought of creating booklets on coral reefs. I recently took an art class and together, we created a collage of a coral reef. A few of us selected a sea creature of our choice (I think Ronaldo's pictures were beautiful and perfect for this activity) and painted our creature on an individual paper. (Various types and sizes of fish are encouraged so it gives depth to the collage). While we were busy with our paintings, other students were busy creating various shades of sea plants, corals, sand, & rocks. Once everything was dry, we all worked together to create our coral reef ecosystem. When we took a step back, we were all very proud of the end product. One of my colleagues tried this with her class and their collage is currently displayed in the school's library!

Tamara Leong
Tamara Leong
1015 Activity Points

Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:06 AM

Hi, I have participated in a number of discussion forums, but I have never seen one with as many amazing photos as those provided by Ronaldo. I am new to the study and teaching of coral reef ecosystems and I am really inspired by the beauty and diversity of the reef system in the Philippines. Actually my wife is from the Philippines so I am already thinking how to incorporate a visit to the reef park with a visit to her family. I too live in Hawaii and our reefs aren't quite as colorful as those in Ronaldo's pictures. I am just starting the coral reef scipack and am looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the ecosystem. Thanks for all of your posts.

Vincent Lowery
Vincent Lowery
2750 Activity Points

Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:09 PM

NOAA has a TON of educational activities related to all sorts of ocean topics, coral reef ecosystems included (but also other Earth Science related topics like weather, climate, etc. too). Their main education resource page can be found at http://www.education.noaa.gov/
the coral ecosystems resources can be found under the "Marine Life" category.

There are a host of activities and resources on their site (I've used several myself in my High School Marine Science class) ranging from short multimedia clips that you could incorporate into a lecture, to data and activity logs that could allow you to follow along for a time with an actual crew doing research (or do so in a virtual manner even after their initial investigations are no longer under way), or even have your kids look at and analyze REAL data that might otherwise be impossible for our kids to collect on their own.

I've found this a great resource because they do have a lot of resources that deal with us here in Hawaii, (like Papahanaumokuakea in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands) - something that a lot of textbooks often overlook.

Mary Miura-Aguinaldo
Mary Miura-Aguinaldo
240 Activity Points

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:45 PM

Thanks Mary for sharing the NOAA site, lots of great resources. I checked out the link for coral reef http://www.education.noaa.gov/Marine_Life/Coral_Ecosystems.html. Lots of great multimedia with transcripts (easy to make worksheets from), real time data on coral bleaching, etc. Great resource for students doing research on coral reefs.

Sharon Chern
Sharon Chern
2640 Activity Points

Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:43 PM

I loved the coral reef food web picture. What a great resource!

I am working on a coral reef food web lesson with the fourth graders at our school. Another idea that I have is to integrate Science with the Social Studies curriculum. In old Hawaii, coral reefs were an integral part of the Native Hawaiians. Over time they relied more on the fishponds that were constructed closer to shore to harvest fish but they still understood the impact of their actions on the reefs. Native Hawaiians actively practiced reef conservation as an attempt to replenish the fish populations. Discussing this topic should be a wonderful way to identify human impact on ecosystems in ancient and modern times.

Rena Roybal
Rena Roybal
1810 Activity Points

Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:38 PM

I teach 5th grade in St. Paul, MN. I like to use Dive to the Coral Reefs as a starting point for my lessons on coral reefs. I have to work my science units into my reading teaching so this is a great place to start. After we read the story we make a 4 square (divide your page into 4 equal parts for 4 topics. The story lends itself to 4 main topics, How coral is formed/types of coral/Coral ecosystem-animals that depend on reefs/ and man's impact on coral. Once the students get their facts from the story for each topic we do an online search and use books I've checked out from the library to gather more facts for the topic. Students then make a power point slide show on Coral Reefs which they share with class. They love getting pictures from the internet to illustrate their research. Since we live in MN they find this research fascinating. Most of them have never even seen Lake Superior (150 miles north of us) much less the ocean. It's a real treat to study the coral Biome. Thanks everyone for all the links and great resources.

Joachim Huber
Joachim Huber
2080 Activity Points

Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:47 AM

"I recently took an art class and together, we created a collage of a coral reef. A few of us selected a sea creature of our choice (I think Ronaldo's pictures were beautiful and perfect for this activity) and painted our creature on an individual paper. (Various types and sizes of fish are encouraged so it gives depth to the collage). While we were busy with our paintings, other students were busy creating various shades of sea plants, corals, sand, & rocks. Once everything was dry, we all worked together to create our coral reef ecosystem. When we took a step back, we were all very proud of the end product. One of my colleagues tried this with her class and their collage is currently displayed in the school's library!"
Tamara - What grade level do you teach? I would love to do this art project in my marine science class, perhaps with flip card showing info about the organism on the art work itself. If you could share any handouts that you give your students (or web resources) I'd really appreciate it :)

Sharon Chern
Sharon Chern
2640 Activity Points

Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:03 AM

I loved the Coral Reef SciPack as well. I made a short unit last year on coral reefs for my 6th grade students in Hawaii. They were so engaged learning about the ocean. They wanted to continue learning more and more and there just wasn't time. This year I am going through the Cycling of Matter and Energy SciPack and I am excited to incorporate much the information I am learning in this SciPack into more lessons on Coral Reefs!

I also wanted to suggest using Discover Education as a source to find some great video footage of coral reef ecosystems to "bring" the coral reef into the classroom!

Nichole Montague
Nichole Montague
4675 Activity Points

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:00 PM

Thank you for posting the picture of the ocean food web, Ronaldo. I often see food webs begin at the bottom of the page and work up to the top. However, it makes a lot of sense to begin food webs from the top of the page because the whole web will collapse without the sun.

I also just completed the Coral Reef Ecosystem SciPack and realized that I need to teach my students about coral reefs. Hawai’i’s economy relies heavily on tourism and many visitors come here to experience nature. To ensure that Hawai’i continues to draw visitors, I feel that I need to make my students aware of coral reefs and educate them on ways they can preserve our coral reefs.

Juliet Kim
Juliet Kim
2330 Activity Points

Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:45 AM

My students are love putting together their power points on Coral Reefs. Some are even asking to do extra credit power point reports about other ocean topics.

Joachim Huber
Joachim Huber
2080 Activity Points

Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:36 PM

My students have always been fascinated with marine life! I took this picture (along with 7,000 others) about 8 days ago at the Key Largo, Molasses Reef. It was very sad to observe our beautiful reef’s dying out; perhaps the Global warming effect has taking its toll.

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Yanni Korakianitis
Yanni Korakianitis
2745 Activity Points

Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:43 PM

Molasses reef @ Key Largo, FL

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Day_4__(66).JPG (3.25 Mb)

Yanni Korakianitis
Yanni Korakianitis
2745 Activity Points

Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:08 AM

I see Ronaldo has already shared his experience about the Coral Reef SciPack - thanks, Ronaldo!

Did you also know you can use the Science Objects that make up the SciPack to brush up on specific science content - for free??? The Science Objects contain the same content as the SciPacks, minus the ability to communicate with a mentor.

I've attached a couple of ocean-related Science Objects in case anyone's interested. You can find them by looking under the Learning Resources & Opportunities tab (located at the top of the page) or just do a general search to find them.

Thanks to everyone who has shared resources!
Kendra

Kendra Young
Kendra Young
16980 Activity Points

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:18 AM

Thank you everyone for sharing great resources and for giving me ideas on what I can view in the SciPacks and SciGuides. This is my first time on this NSTA website, but I wanted to share this resource that I found while looking through it:
http://sea.sheddaquarium.org/sea/interactive_module.asp?id=8#

Since I’m teaching first graders in Hawaii, one of the standards that I need to address is on structure and function in organism. In other, students have to describe how living things have structures to help them survive. I believe the link above (which is also attached) is good in that it gives students an understanding of an animal’s ability to camouflage helps them survive in their environment. I also like the fact that it is very interactive and students (all ages) will enjoy it!

Attachments

Squid the Fish interactive (External Website)

Rayna Kinoshita
Rayna Kinoshita
720 Activity Points

Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:46 PM

Rayna,

First and third-grade concepts seem to piggy-back on one another in terms of structure and function. I'm not sure what you can make use of, but a couple of years ago, I got resources from NOAA regarding ocean-type activities. While they were primarily in "draft" form, I'm sure that you can cull information and adapt the content to your specific students skill set.

This is my second year of doing life-processes, so I'm considering using birds for my actual lessons. There is an activity that I think would work if you'll consider fishes mouths:

Have student be "parrot" fish, suckers, etc. using tools like a paper bag. The students can only "eat" based on their mouth-type. You could make it a game! I haven't really gotten the kinks worked out but for my tools I will be using chopsticks, tongs, and the paper bag mouth.

Here are the collections:
Let me know if they are helpful and I can look for more of my files.

Lori Towata
Lori Towata
2805 Activity Points

Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:37 PM

Cynthia said:
[i]
For my lesson, I am going to attempt to have students make a connection of a current reef ecosystem versus a “fossilized” one. I'll see what index fossils are present (in my collection, the school's, and was is common around here). I’ll focus on the Permian Reef complex that is part of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park (west Texas – and in an area I grew up in, visited during field camp and I have actual fossils to show them from the surrounding area). This should have both a visual and physical aspect to it while also using technology if a park ranger is available. They have started a new online field trip called the Sea to Shining Sea program in which students can interact with a park ranger at some of their sites there in real time. It will be a first for me, but it will be a different experience and hopefully expand my students thinking. I do have a particular fondness for the area and make connections there to Hawaii would be cool. Plus - it would be a different way for my students to view the world.
[/i]

I think that's a really neat idea! I've tried to incorporate coral reef ecosystems into my classroom, but only during my oceans unit. I've never thought about using it to really drive home plate tectonics (like the Guadalupe Mountains would). I do have my students compare a coral reef system to a sponge reef system, like what they see in the northern Pacific waters off the coast of Canada. But, drawing on the kids' experience with the reefs around Hawaii, and having them compare to different reef systems around the world (both prehistoric and new) would be super cool!

Angelo Laskowsky
Angelo Laskowsky
2190 Activity Points

Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:50 AM

Hi Lori,

Thank you for the valuable resources that you posted. I will certainly try them out with my students this year. I finished the Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack and it was more rigorous than I thought it would be - almost felt like I was taking a college course because the content was more than I thought it would be. I'll pull resources from the SciPack and integrate it with the resources you've shared with me. I really like the idea you shared about having the students pretend they are fishes with different mouths. That was a very unique idea that I'll share with my grade level.

Rayna Kinoshita
Rayna Kinoshita
720 Activity Points

Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:43 PM

Lori,

I really agree with what the others have said--that teaching about coral reefs is not specifically addressed in school, and students should know about them. I completed the coral reef SciPack and really liked it. I thought it helped me to teach it better to my students. Although I am not teaching science this year, I love teaching my students about reefs around the world, especially the Great Barrier Reef. I have a salt water in my classroom and the students are are charge of it. They even make the water changes and test the water for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite levels, etc. I recently presented this PowerPoint Presentation to them on the Great Barrier Reef and its current and future threats like climate change. Even though it was a powerpoint done for one of my master's courses, they acquired much information from it and they were really interested in learning about it and more! Here it is...

-Charmelle

Charmelle Carbot
Charmelle Carbot
2935 Activity Points

Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:51 PM

Lori,

I really agree with what the others have said--that teaching about coral reefs is not specifically addressed in school, and students should know about them. I completed the coral reef SciPack and really liked it. I thought it helped me to teach it better to my students. Although I am not teaching science this year, I love teaching my students about reefs around the world, especially the Great Barrier Reef. I have a salt water in my classroom and the students are are charge of it. They even make the water changes and test the water for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite levels, etc. I recently presented this PowerPoint Presentation to them on the Great Barrier Reef and its current and future threats like climate change. Even though it was a powerpoint done for one of my master's courses, they acquired much information from it and they were really interested in learning about it and more! I wanted to share it, but it exceeds the 20.0 GB limit.

-Charmelle

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Charmelle Carbot
Charmelle Carbot
2935 Activity Points

Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:44 PM

When it comes to a subject like Coral Reefs, something that is so massive and amazing that you have to see it to believe it, I think a lot of hands on and visual lessons would be really helpful in having your students connect with the lesson. Since your lucky enough to live in such a beautiful place, I'm sure there are tons of activities that would be at your fingerprints. What could be a fun way to incorporate the lesson is for a week decorate your classroom as if it were a coral reef, and assign small groups of students as different marine animals and plants.

Gladys Lopez
Gladys Lopez
2985 Activity Points

Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:05 AM

This thread is getting my curiosity & excitement for the sci-pack. Being a local girl and living in my home island, Kauai, it seems only natural to bring it into my curriculum and tie it into other areas of my studies. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to study "coral reef" through the perspective of how animals have structures to protect themselves. Kauai doesn't have a local aquarium, but we could possibly do a reef walk excursion to make connections to the lesson. This would be a first time for myself as I teach kindergarten.

Sandra Naihe
Sandra Naihe
605 Activity Points

Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:53 AM

Hi Lori,

Thanks for the great ideas on coral reef activities! I recently finished the SciPack and am looking for ways to incorporate hands-on activities in the classroom. The different fish mouths will work well with the fourth grade benchmark on adaptations. My students will be able to see how the different fish have adapted the shape of their mouths to the food that they eat, just as birds have with their beaks. There are so many other benchmarks to tie in with coral reefs too. I'm excited to start planning lessons!

Lauren Nishimoto
Lauren Lee
950 Activity Points

Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:43 PM

Marine scientists working on the coral reefs of Palau have made two unexpected discoveries that could provide insight into corals' resistance and resilience to ocean acidification.
http://nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=130129&org=NSF&from=news

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68500 Activity Points

Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:56 PM

I agree that we don't put enough emphasis on coral reefs. I think this year when I get to ecology, I will spend about a week on coral reefs and discuss human impact, specie interactions, and climate. I think it will be a great way to introduce complex concepts.

James Sharp
James Sharp
28090 Activity Points

Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:56 PM

I agree that we don't put enough emphasis on coral reefs. I think this year when I get to ecology, I will spend about a week on coral reefs and discuss human impact, specie interactions, and climate. I think it will be a great way to introduce complex concepts.

James Sharp
James Sharp
28090 Activity Points

Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:05 AM

Some good news that Corals may be adapting to hotter oceans
Coral reefs face a daunting future: climate change, ocean acidification, and overfishing are projected to take a harsh toll in the coming decades. But a study published today suggests that some corals can adjust their physiology to cope with ocean warming
http://www.nature.com/news/corals-use-multiple-tricks-to-ada...as-1.15104

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68500 Activity Points

Tue May 06, 2014 4:13 PM

Hi Cindy!

I definitely support incorporating coral reefs into the life science class. Coral reefs are extremely important to teach students due to ocean acidification. It's demolishing coral reef life and could lead to species depletion. Students should be aware of what's going on and how they can help now (stop polluting the atmosphere) and in the future (jobs that help rebuild coral reefs). I think your idea is fantastic and should be taught in your classroom!

Tyler Evans
Tyler Evans
125 Activity Points

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