Coral Reef NOAA
 
September 21, 2014  

Curricula & Lesson Plans



Curricula
Grades 4th to 6th
Lesson Plans
Grades 3rd to 6th
Grades 5th to 6th
Grades 6th to 8th
Grades 9th to 12th

Over 50 lesson plans and two full curricula in the Life Science and Earth Science subject areas, from grades 3rd to 12th, are included. These curricula and lesson plans were developed through a partnership between teachers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and various branches of NOAA.

Each lesson plan or curriculum is available as a pdf download in the tables below. Supplemental materials are also identified and linked for select lesson plans. File size is listed for each downloadable file; links with no file size listed are not file downloads.

Curricula

Grades 4th to 6th

Lesson Topic Summary of Objectives Group/Org.
Navigating Change
(7.42 mb)
Environmental responsibility, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) An educational voyage of five units: The Voyage, Land to Sea Connection, Change Over Time, Human Impacts, You Make The Difference. Grades 4 & 5. Includes maps, a fish poster, and more. Reference map of the NWHI (front -521 kb, back - 425 kb ) Bishop Museum, NOAA. USFWS, Polynesian Voyaging Society, State of Hawai`i
Remote Sensing & Coral Reefs
(4.34 mb)
Technology and coral reef monitoring This curriculum contains seven lesson plans about coral reef monitoring. It covers the electromagnetic spectrum, altimetry, coral reefs, symbiosis, phytoplankton, sea surface temperature, and conservation issues. Supplemental material includes two slideshows (See 'Landlords of the Reef' and 'Threats for Corals' in Videos, Slideshows, and More). NOAA

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Lesson Plans

Grades 3rd to 6th

Lesson Topic Summary of Objectives Group/Org.
Aquarius Technology
(214 kb)
Building underwater habitats Students will learn to design and build a model of an underwater habitat. NOAA
Coral Reef Community Game
(157 kb)
Changes in species composition on reefs Students will learn about the living requirements and ecology of three important sessile organisms that inhabit the coral reef: corals, sponges and seaweeds. Game cards (1.16 mb) for each organism are also available. NOAA
Filter Feeding in Reef Sponges
(245 kb)
Feeding strategies Students will observe and describe filter-feeding in sponges and explore the ecological role of sponges on coral reefs. Lesson plan includes handouts. NOAA
In My Opinion
(166 kb)
Political participation Students will learn how to write such influential letters to their legislators in support of ocean conservation. NOAA

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Grades 5th to 6th

Lesson Topic Summary of Objectives Group/Org.
A Piece of Cake
(241 kb)
Spatial heterogeneity in deep-water coral Students will be able to explain what a habitat is, describe at least three functions of a habitat, and give examples of habitats that are typical of deep-water, hard bottom communities. NOAA
Architects of Coral Reefs
(278 kb)
Reproduction in Cnidaria Students will be able to identify and describe at least five characteristics of Cnidaria coral, and describe typical reproductive strategies of Cnidaria. NOAA
Architects of the Deep Reef
(263 kb)
Reproduction in deep sea corals Students will be able to infer which reproductive strategies are likely to be used by the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa, and will be able to describe the advantages of these strategies. NOAA
Deep Gardens
(224 kb)
Comparison of deep and shallow tropical corals Students will compare and contrast deep-sea coral communities with their shallow- water counterparts and describe three types of coral associated with deep-sea coral communities. NOAA
Easy as Pi Exploring Corals
(295 kb)
Structural complexity in benthic habitats Students will be able to describe the importance of structural features that increase surface area in benthic habitats and quantify the impact of structural modifications. NOAA
Forest of the Deep
(160 kb)
Deep-sea coral associated with seamounts Students will be able to explain ways in which seamounts are important to biological communities, infer ways in which deep-sea corals are important to seamount ecosystems. NOAA
Friend or Foe?
(324 kb)
Symbiotic relationships Students will be able to describe symbiotic, mutualistic, commensal, parasitic, facultative and obligatory relationships between organisms. NOAA
Keep Away
(272 kb)
Pollution and benthic habitat Students will be able to make inferences about possible effects of drilling operations on benthic communities. NOAA
Save a Reef
(290 kb)
Coral reef conservation Students will design a public information program to improve understanding of the coral reef crisis, and what individuals can do to help. NOAA

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Grades 6th to 8th

Lesson Topic Summary of Objectives Group/Org.
Architects of Seamount Ecosystems
(188 kb)
Morphology and ecological function in deep sea corals Students will be able to describe ways in which habitat-forming deep sea corals benefit other species in deep sea ecosystems, and explain how habitat-forming deep sea corals and their associated ecosystems may be important to humans. NOAA
Big Fleas Have Little Fleas
(302 kb)
Physical structure in benthic habitats Students will learn about the importance of structural complexity to species diversity and abundance in benthic habitats, and discuss ways that octocorals may modify seamount habitats. NOAA
Biodiversity of Marine Sanctuaries
(146 kb)
Biodiversity in the oceans In this lesson, students will explore the biodiversity of two NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries. Supplemental materials include a video (See 'Biodiversity' in Videos, Slideshows, and More). NOAA
Climate, Corals & Change
(407 kb)
Paleo-climatology Students will be able to explain the concept of "paleoclimatological proxies," describe how oxygen isotope ratios are related to water temperature, and interpret data to make inferences about growth rates. NOAA
Deep Sea Coral Biodiversity
(286 kb)
Biodiversity of deep sea coral Students will research life forms found on tropical and deep sea reefs to gain an understanding of the biodiversity of those ecosystems. NOAA
Design a Reef!
(282 kb)
Niches in coral reef ecosystems Students will describe the major functions that organisms must perform in a coral reef ecosystem, and explain how these functions might be provided in a miniature coral reef ecosystem. NOAA
Exploring Sanctuaries
(195 kb)
Marine ecosystems and their protection Students will identify major groups of organisms living in and protected by national marine sanctuaries. NOAA
Hawaiian Hot Spots
(148 kb)
Plate tectonics Students will explore the ways in which the unique hot spot environment has contributed to the richness of the environment at NWHI monument. Supplemental material includes a video (See 'Hawaiian Hot Spots' in Videos, Slideshows, and More). NOAA
How am I Supposed to Eat That?
(241 kb)
Feeding adaptations among benthic organisms Students will be able to describe at least three nutritional strategies used by benthic organisms typical of deep water coral communities and describe physical adaptations associated with at least three nutritional strategies used by benthic organisms. NOAA
Predators Among Us
(144 kb)
Overfishing of sharks Students will learn about the balance in the reef ecosystem among sharks and other carnivorous fish, their prey, and algae. Students will see that predators are an important part of a balanced ecosystem. Supplemental material includes a video (See 'Predators Among Us' in Videos, Slideshows, and More). NOAA
Saved by a Shark
(147 kb)
Humans as predators of coral reef ecosystems This lesson focuses on human beings as predators, specifically in coral reef ecosystems. Issues examined include over-fishing, pollution, global warming, coastal development, and passive "predatory behavior." Supplemental material includes a video (See 'Saved by a Shark' in Videos, Slideshows, and More). NOAA
Treasures in Jeopardy
(199 kb)
Conservation of deep-sea coral communities Students will compare and contrast deep sea coral communities with their shallow water counterparts and explain at least three benefits associated with deep sea coral communities. NOAA

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Grades 9th to 12th

Lesson Topic Summary of Objectives Group/Org.
A Reef of Your Own
(176 kb)
Coral reef biology Students will be able to describe and explain the importance of asexual and sexual reproductive strategies to reef-building corals. NOAA
Bad Algae!
(177 kb)
Harmful algal blooms Students will be able to compare and contrasts ways in which algal blooms may be harmful. NOAA
Cool Corals
(278 kb)
Biology, ecology of Lophelia corals Students will describe the basic morphology of Lophelia corals, explain their significance and interpret observations on the behavior of Lophelia polyps. NOAA
Current: Bad for Divers Good for Corals
(218 kb)
Currents & precious coral communities Students will be able to describe major forces driving ocean currents and discuss the general effects of topography on current velocity. NOAA
Do Not Bleach!
(482 kb)
Coral bleaching Students will be able to investigate possible causes for coral bleaching. NOAA
Feeding in the Flow
(347 kb)
Currents & feeding in corals Students will be able to describe ways in which current flow may affect the feeding efficiency of particle-feeding organisms. NOAA
Fix It!
(151 kb)
Repairing damaged resources Students will be able to give examples of natural events and human activities that damage coastal resources. NOAA
History's Thermometers
(302 kb)
Deep-water corals and climate change Students will be able to explain the concept of paleoclimatological proxies, learn how oxygen isotope ratios are related to water temperature and interpret data to make inferences about climate change. NOAA
How Does Your (Coral) Garden Grow?
(288 kb)
Growth rate estimates based on isotope ratios Students will identify and briefly explain two methods for estimating the age of hard corals and learn how oxygen isotope ratios are related to water temperature and interpret data. NOAA
Is It Getting Hot in Here?
(228 kb)
Climate change Students will identify ways in which climate change could affect human communities and find evidence of impeding climate change. NOAA
Keeping Watch on Coral Reefs
(440 kb)
Coral reef monitoring Students will be able to identify and explains major threats to coral reefs. NOAA
Let's Go to the Video Tape
(305 kb)
Communities on deep water coral habitats Students will identify some of the fauna groups found in deep sea coral communities, infer possible reasons for observed distribution of groups of animals in these communities, and discuss the biological diversity. NOAA
No Escape
(1.21 mb)
Larvae dispersal in sea mounts Students will learn to use field data to evaluate a hypothesis about the influence of a water circulation cell on larvae. NOAA
No Fishing?
(190 kb)
Protecting natural & cultural resources Students will be able to describe a process for evaluating the effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs). NOAA
Protect This!
(580 kb)
Designing MPAs Students will describe how networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect biodiversity. NOAA
Seals, Corals & Dollars
(451 kb)
Monk seals, coral and economy Students will be able to describe the ecological relationship between Hawaiian monk seals and deep-water precious corals. NOAA
Water Parks
(369 kb)
U.S. MPAs Students will be able to identify reasons for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs). NOAA
What's Down There?
(392 kb)
Mapping coral reef habitats Students will be able to access data on selected coral reefs, manipulate these data to characterize these reefs, and explain the need for baseline data in coral reef monitoring programs. NOAA
Who Has the Data?
(228 kb)
Coral reef monitoring Students will be able to access data on selected coral reefs and manipulate these data to characterize these reefs. NOAA
Who's Your Neighbor?
(282 kb)
Groups in deep sea coral reefs Students will be able to describe common feeding strategies used by benthic animals. NOAA

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