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Education Resources

Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

Whether you are a student working on a school project, a teacher looking for ways to incorporate lessons about coral reefs into your classroom, an informal educator looking for information and activities to include in coral outreach, or just someone wanting to learn more about coral, this section of our website was designed with you in mind. Browse some of our education resources below.

3D Coral Polyp Model: Bring coral education to life with a 3D printed model of a coral polyp. Download the file, get supporting material, and watch a brief video for key points to highlight in your lesson plan.

Interactive Reef: As you move your mouse to hover over the painting, ten of the species will 'light up'. Click on the species to open a feature page. You'll see photos of that species, a fact about it, its role in a reef ecosystem, and threats to the species.

Ocean Acidification Educational Resources for the Highschool Classroom:This resource contains targeted information on ocean acidification for high school teachers and students, with annotated video presentations, curricula and classroom activities, interactive multimedia, and background materials.

Reef in Palau
Most corals are made up of hundreds to hundreds of thousands of individual coral polyps, like this one.

SciLinks Coral Tutorial:The tutorial is an overview of the biology of and threats to coral reefs, as well as efforts being made to conserve and protect them. It includes images, animations, and videos.

2008 Coral Reef Educational Resources: This is a collection of coral reef education and outreach materials created by state and federal agencies as well as non-profit organizations that are part of U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The materials cover a wide-range of topics, including basic coral biology, coral reef ecosystems, human use, threats, and conservation efforts. (Please note that some content included in this collection is no longer maintained and that some links may no longer work.)

Discover Coral Reefs - Project WET activity booklet: This booklet includes fun, colorful, and informative activities for kids in grade levels K-5. It is available as a print product only. Hard copies are no longer available from NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.

The Nature Education Knowledge Project: Coral Reefs: This resource provides information on corals and coral reef ecosystems as part of the Nature Education Knowledge Project.

National Geographic Society Resource Library: Coral Reefs: This resource is targeted towards grades 9-12 and higher education students, providing information on the risks to coral reef ecosystems.

Smithsonian Ocean: What is a Coral Reef? For Middle School: This lesson plan is geared towards grades 6-8 and includes in introduction PowerPoint, abiotic/biotic factor cards, student worksheets, and a trophic level PowerPoint.

Smithsonian Ocean: What is a Coral Reef? For Elementary School: This lesson plan is geared towards grades K-2 and includes information for student-led skits.

Discovery Education: Free Lesson Plans - Coral Reefs: These lesson plans are targeted towards grades 6-8 that allow students to research coral reefs and then create books for younger children.

Science Friday: Survey Ecosystem Health on a Virtual Coral Reef: This lesson plan is targeted towards grades 3-8 and includes videos, 360-degree images, audio recordings, and Google street view images to promote discussion.