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Keeping Watch on Coral Reefs

NOAA Ocean Service Education

This activity identifies and explains the benefits of and threats to coral reef systems. Students read tutorials, describe the role of satellites, analyze oceanographic data and identify actions that can be undertaken to reduce or eliminate threats to coral reefs. As a culminating activity, students prepare a public education program.

Activity takes one or two 45-minute class periods. Computer access is useful but not required.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts, 6 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3a
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6d
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

Energy Literacy

Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
Other materials addressing:
5.6 Environmental factors.
Other materials addressing:
3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:A) Organisms, populations, and communities
Other materials addressing:
A) Organisms, populations, and communities.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:C) Systems and connections
Other materials addressing:
C) Systems and connections.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • If students do not have access to the Internet, educator can download copies of materials cited under “Learning Procedure” and provide copies of these materials to students.
  • Students read about human impacts on coral in the tutorial. Educators will need to reinforce this concept in the discussion after the data collection activity.
  • There is a complementary and overlapping activity at: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/lessons/coral_bleach.html. It uses the same material and asks students to demonstrate their understanding of coral bleaching through writing and public presentation.
  • Activity is linked to Ocean Literacy Essential Principles.

About the Science

  • Gives thorough coverage of the science in the background section.
  • Includes a section on mitigation strategies.
  • Comment from scientist: This is as extremely comprehensive set set of tools to enhance a variety of lessons on both coral reef ecology and about the technology used to do remote sensing.
  • Comment from scientist: The activity doesn't introduce the scientific process of how to pose a hypothesis or how to design an experiment. This is very much an advanced tool for those that already know the scientific method.

About the Pedagogy

  • Opportunities for students to work in teams to gather evidence and draw conclusions.
  • Because the material is extensive, it is well suited for adaptation for a variety of students' learning needs.
  • Clear student instructions and educator background section.
  • The tutorials are interactive and engaging.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

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