Activity Introduction

coral-biodiversity-heroQuick summary: In this activity will work in groups or as a class to research the biotic and abiotic conditions required to support a shallow-water coral reef, and will use this research to create a 3D model of a reef. Students will be asked to work to a design brief and to provide supporting information to accompany their 3D design, and are asked to present their reef and justify their response to the design brief.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise the range of abiotic and biotic conditions that are required to support a shallow-water coral reef.
  • Students identify coral reef food chains.
  • Students reflect upon the threats to coral reefs from human activities, including climate change.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 9 Science

  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS174)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-9WS, SC5-14LW

Topic: Biodiversity

Time required: 2 x 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – Assist students with research and design of coral reef model.

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, materials for 3D model (will vary according to available materials and student requirements).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Keywords: Coral reef, 3D model, design.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

greate-barrier-reefTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Students recognise the range of abiotic and biotic conditions that are required to support a shallow-water coral reef and identify coral reef food chains. Students also reflect upon the threats to coral reefs from human activities, including climate change.

Teacher content information: Coral reefs are often referred to as “the rainforests of the ocean”: they are among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. They support a huge range of marine creatures, some of who spend their whole lives living on these reefs and others just drop by to visit the reef for food or a clean. Some creature visit the reef for shelter or food at certain times of the year while others come to breed and provide a place for their young to mature away from the predators of the open ocean.

Coral reefs occupy less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean surface yet they provide a home for 25% of all marine species, including fish, molluscs, worms, crustaceans, echinoder

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter - How old is the Great Barrier Reef?

In this activity you will be designing and creating a 3D model of a shallow-water coral reef.

Research - In order to do this you will first need to research all the biotic and abiotic conditions required to support a shallow-water coral reef. You can find a list of points to guide your research below:

1. Energy - How is energy produced and transferred in a reef ecosystem?

 

2. Waste - What happens to waste products?

3. Oxygen - how does oxygen move through the reef system?

4. Food chains - How many food chains can you find and how many links are there in these food chains?

 

5. Water temperature - What water temperature is required to keep a reef healthy?

 

6. Water movement - How does water movement affect the health of a reef?

 

7. Location - What are the conditions required to sustain a reef, e.g. depth, distance to shore, atmospheric temperature?

8. Salinity - Are reef ecosystems affected by the salinity of t

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