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: 6-8 Grade Students

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.8.N.4.1, LA.8.5.2.4, LA.8.6.2.1
Go to: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/free-lesson-plans/blue-planet-coral-seas.cfm

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: MA.7.G.2.2, MA.7.G.4.1
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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.8.N.4.1, SC.8.N.4.2
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

A Chance of Success

Source: Sea World
Lesson Summary: The student will learn about the physical factors that limit where coral reefs develop.
Grade Level: 4-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.17.3
Go to: http://www.seaworld.org/just-for-teachers/lsa/i-030/pdf/4-8.pdf

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.E.7.9, SC.7.E.6.3, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.17.3, MA.6.A.3.1, MA.6.A.3.6, MA.8.A.1.1
Go to: View PDF

Coral Bleaching: Making Our Oceans Whiter

Source: National Geographic
Lesson Summary: Students will understand what coral reefs are; where they are located, and how humans impact their future; build writing skills and search the internet for relevant information; and gather the knowledge to critically reason and debate issues about coral reefs.
Grade Level: 6-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.8.N.4.1, LA.8.5.2.4, LA.8.6.2.1
Go to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/lessons/04/g68/bowercoral.html

The Coral Game

Source: University of Texas
Lesson Summary: Students will learn coral reef ecology and the current dangers facing coral reefs through role play.
Grade Level: 6-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3
Go to: View 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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: LA.6.3.1.1, LA.6.3.1.2, LA.6.3.1.3, LA.6.3.2.1, LA.6.3.3.4, LA.6.3.5.1, LA.6.3.5.2, LA.6.3.5.3, LA.7.3.1.1, LA.7.3.1.2, LA.7.3.1.3, LA.7.3.3.1, LA.7.3.3.4, LA.7.3.5.1, LA.7.3.5.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6
Go to: http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/coralreefs/

Coral Reef Café

Source: Coral Reef Adventure Film
Lesson Summary: Students will simulate the variety of methods with which different fishes on a reef feed. Learn how the size and shape of a fish’s mouth and teeth provide hints about what type of food it eats.
Grade Level: 3-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.4, SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, LA.8.6.2.2
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

Coral Reef Crossword Puzzle

Source: FKNMS
Lesson Summary: Students will complete a crossword puzzle using general coral reef knowledge. Should be used as a supplement to other activities / lessons.
Grade Level: 6-12
Go to: View PDF

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.E.6.2, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.3,  SC.8.N.4.2
Go to: View PDF

Coral Reef Models

Source: USGS
Lesson Summary: This activity contains instructions and patterns for preparing a set of four, three-dimensional paper models that schematically illustrate the development of island coral. These models are intended to help students visualize the growth of coral on an island and to learn some of the terminology used by earth scientists to describe coral reefs. Students will achieve a greater appreciation of the relations between volcanic islands, the growth of coral reefs, and atolls.
Grade Level: 6-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.E.6.2, SC.7.E.6.4, SC.7.E.6.5, SC.7.E.6.7, SC.7.L.17.3
Go to: http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/usgsnps/sea/4reefs1.html

Coral Reef Race for Survival

Source: Coral Reefs: An English Compilation of Activities for Middle School Students
Lesson Summary: Students will identify at least three ways corals benefit people; name three natural disturbances to coral reefs and three human induced threats to coral reefs; increase their knowledge on the survival needs of corals; and gain insight on ways to protect corals from human disturbances.
Grade Level: 3-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.L.14.4, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.17.3
Go to: View PDF

Coral Reefs, Polyps and Heads

Source: Bermuda Biological Station for Research and the College of Exploration
Lesson Summary: Students will learn about how coral communities form, and assist in the building of a model.
Grade Level: 6-10
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6
Go to: http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/hilda_2.html

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.2, SC.6.N.1.3, SC.6.N.1.4, SC.6.N.1.5, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.N.1.2, SC.7.N.1.4,  MA.8.A.1.1
Go to: View PDF 

Coral: What Portion is Alive?

Source: Coral Reefs: An English Compilation of Activities for Middle School Students
Lesson Summary: Students will comprehend the living portion of stony corals are all on the exterior non-attached surface.
Grade Level: 6-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.3, MA.7.G.2.2, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.8.P.8.3
Go to: View 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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6, VA.68.H.3.3
Go to: http://octopus.gma.org/surfing/ocean/fish.html

 

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.1-SC.6.N.1.5, SC.7.N.1.1-SC.7.N.1.7, SC.7.P.11.2, SC.7.P.11.3, SC.6.E.7.3, SC.6.E.7.4, SC.7.E.6.4, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.8.L.18.4
Go to: View PDF 

Growing Coral

Source: Sea World
Lesson Summary: Students will observe the growth of crystals that develop in a way similar to how coral polyps create their calcium carbonate cups.
Grade Level: 3-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.L.14.4, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.8.L.18.3
Go to: http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Coral/gcoral.html

Guess Who?

Source: Treasures@Sea
Lesson Summary: On index cards write the names of different ocean animals. Students draw a card and research the animal on it. On the back of the card they should write facts about their animals such as; where it lives, what it eats, what color/shape it is, is it a predator or prey? When finished, they can swap with a partner to guess what animal the description is for.
Grade Level: 6-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: LA.6.3.1.1, LA.7.3.1.1, LA8.3.1.1, LA.8.5.2.4
Go to: http://www.fi.edu/fellows/fellow8/dec98//writ.html

How to Hide in the Ocean

Source: Woods Hole Sea Education Association
Lesson Summary: Students will observe and discuss the advantages of camouflage, then try their hands at designing a well-camouflaged fish.
Grade Level: K-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, LA.6.3.1.1, LA.7.3.1.1, LA.8.3.1.1, LA.7.6.2.1, LA.8.6.2.1
Go to: http://www.sea.edu/academics/k-12_detail/how_to_hide_in_the_ocean

Let’s Make Waves

Source: Treasures@Sea
Lesson Summary: An effective experiment to teach how waves are created. In this simple set of activities children use wind to create waves and use marbles to model energy moving through water.
Grade Level: 6-10
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.P.11.1, SC.6.P.13.1, SC.7.P.11.2, SC.7.P.11.3, SC.7.P.10.3
Go to: http://www.fi.edu/fellows/fellow8/dec98//lessons/index.html

Mealtime for Corals

Source: Coral Reefs: An English Compilation of Activities for Middle School Students
Lesson Summary: This activity illustrates the feeding activity of a coral colony. Individual polyps, though connected, feed independently.
Grade Level: K-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.8.L.18.1, SC.8.L.18.2
Go to: View PDF

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: MA.S.6.2, SC.6.N.1.5, SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.N.1.2, SC.8.N.1.4, SC.8.N.1.3
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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: LA.6.4.2.2, LA.6.3.1.1, LA.7.3.1.1, LA.8.3.1.1, LA.8.5.2.4, LA.8.6.2.1
Go to: View 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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.P.13.1, SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.P.10.3
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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.17.3,  SC.7.L.17.2
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.E.6.4, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, , SC.8.L.18.1, SC.8.L.18.2, SC.8.L.18.3, SC.8.L.18.4, SC.8.P.9.1
Go to: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/classroom/lessons/01_reef.pdf
or http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/supp_coral_lessons.html

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

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3
Go to: http://www.coralfilm.com/CRAEducatorGuide.pdf

Sinking Races

Source: Woods Hole Sea Education Association
Lesson Summary: Students will build plankton models and compete to see which sinks most slowly.
Grade Level: 2-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.N.1.1, SC.7.N.1.2, SC.7.N.1.3, SC.7.N.1.4, SC.7.N.3.2, SC.8.L.18.1, SC.8.L.18.2, SC.8.L.18.3, VA.68.H.3.3, MA.6.G.4.3, MA.7.G.2.2, MA.7.G.4.1
Go to: http://www.sea.edu/academics/k-12_detail/sinking_races

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.8.N.4.1, SC.8.N.4.2
Go to: http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/ocean/connect/essay.html

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.4, SC.6.E.7.9, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.8.N.4.1, SC.8.N.4.2
Go to: View PDF

Up the Ocean Food Chain!

Source: PBS Kids 
Lesson Summary: Short video on the ocean food chain, starting with phytoplankton and how it produces its food, and the transfer of energy up the food chain.
Grade Level: 6-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.E.6.6
Go to:http://pbskids.org/go/video/?category=Wild%20Kratts&pid=1_8VlKqMe6pynJKQGU4KItr2WIS_R2a7

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.2 - SC.6.N.1.5, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.N.1.2, SC.7.N.1.4, SC.8.N.1.2, MA.6.S.6.1, MA.6.S.6.2, MA.8.A.1.1
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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.1, SC.6.N.1.2, SC.6.N.1.4, SC.6.N.1.5, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.N.1.1, SC.7.N.1.2, SC.7.N.1.3, SC.8.N.1.1, SC.8.N.1.2, MA.6.S.6.1, MA.6.S.6.2, MA.8.A.1.1
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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.1, SC.6.N.1.2, SC.6.N.1.4, SC.7.E.6.6, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.N.1.1, SC.7.N.1.2, SC.7.N.1.3, SC.8.L.18.3, SC.8.N.4.1, SC.8.N.4.2, SC.8.P.9.1, SC.8.P.9.2, MA.6.S.6.1, MA.6.S.6.2, MA.8.A.1.1
Go to: http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/gail_2.html

What’s My Name?

Source: Sea World
Lesson Summary: The student will learn to use a dichotomous key to identify a variety of reef organisms.
Grade Level: 4-8
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.L.15.1, SC.7.L.15.1, SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3
Go to: http://www.seaworld.org/just-for-teachers/classroom-activities/4-8/pdf/What%27s%20My%20Name.pdf

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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.6.N.1.2, SC.6.N.1.4, SC.6.N.1.5, SC.7.N.1.2, SC.7.N.1.4,  SC.8.N.1.2, MA.6.S.6.1, MA.6.S.6.2, MA.8.A.1.1
Go to: http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/felice_3.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
Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards: SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3
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