Coral Reefs Endangered
Brooklyn Lab High School
Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
Course: Living Environment (Biology)/Marine Science
Grade: 9th/ 10th
SWBAT- 1) Trace the energy flow in a coral reef ecosystem
2) Identify various types of nutritional relationships in a coral reef ecosystem
3) Distinguish between autotrophic vs. heterotrophic nutrition
4) Explain the importance of biodiversity within a coral reef
5) Describe the conditions that are required for a self-sustaining ecosystem within the coral reef
6) Create simulation of acidification of the coral reef
Coral Reef Article entitled “Coral Reef Under Siege”
LCD projector/laptop computer
Globe/Atlas (of the world)
Old magazines with pictures of marine life-forms from simple to complex
Laptops for students to use/computer with internet access (optional)
Aquarium and pH meter/pH paper.
It is recommended that students should be taught about the ecosystem of the “coral reef”, such as what is the coral reef? How is it formed? Which organisms inhabit the coral reef? Where are these reefs located geographically? This can be done by providing students with appropriate article/journal reading to learn about the coral reef for background information.
Coral Reefs are found in warm, clear and shallow Ocean. The formation of coral reefs are a built up of limestone formed from coral polyps (tiny animals that live in colonies after they die). This type of habitat is usually full of a diverse array of marine life forms; almost similar to a Rainforest.
A Marine Science class can adapt this lesson to teach classification, nomenclature and evolutionary relationships of organisms found living in the coral reef, using a “cladogram”. Also the activities provided below can be used to foster inquiry-based learning through hands-on experience.
Activity 1: Reading Assignment of “Coral Reef Under Siege”
Instruction: Students should read the article first and then try to answer the following questions based on the assign reading.
1. What is a coral reef?
2. Which organism found in the reef is endanger of becoming extinct?
3. Where do you find coral reefs? [Specific Response]
4. How is the
5. How is human activity contributing factor that can lead to coral reef damage?
6. What is the greatest threat to coral reefs? Why?
7. What is “coral bleaching”? What causes it? How does it impact the reef?
8. Identify the type of life support that coral reef provide for marine species.
9. List three factors that can contribute to the permanent loss of biodiversity found in the reef.
Activity 2: Location of Coral Reef
Instruction: Print out a copy of the Coral Reef handout template provided and have students use the internet/globe to fill out the template. Students can work in a group of 4 or pair up to complete this task. This template is modified from (www.Enchantedlearning.com)
Activity 2 Questions:
Activity 3: Growing Coral Activity
In this activity students can get a better understanding on the physical characteristics of coral, so that they will be better equipped to identify and explore its physical features. The protocol for growing coral activity can be found on the following website link given below: www.seaworld.org/infobooks/coral/gcoral.html
After students have completed growing their “simulated coral reef”, then move on to having students try to create acidification of the reef by using CaCo3 (Calcium carbonate). Before adding CaCo3 to the “simulated reef”, have students test and record its pH. Then have students add CaCo3 to the reef until it becomes acidic. Therefore, they will have to test the “simulated reef” pH level each time they add the CaCo3 and have them test its pH level again; to observe if there is any change in its pH level ranging from an acid/base/neutral.
Activity 3 Questions:
New York State Standards:
6.1a-c,e & f, and 6.2a - Plants and animals depend on each other & their physical environment. And there are factors that limit growth of individuals & populations