Activity Introduction

coral-biodiversity-heroQuick summary: In this activity students work in groups to research coral reef ecosystems and create a newspaper page featuring news from the coral reef, including advertisements, opinion pieces, news stories, and wanted ads. Students share their newspaper page with classmates for editing.

Earth Hour LogoFollowing this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Earth Hour. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change.

 

Learning goals:

  • Students identify key features of coral reef ecosystems.
  • Students recognise core elements of newspapers and news print media.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 5 English

  • Create literary texts using realistic and fantasy settings and characters that draw on the worlds represented in texts students have experienced (ACELT1612)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)
  • Reread and edit student’s own and others’ work using agreed criteria for text structures and language features (ACELY1705)

Year 5 Science

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)

Year 6 English

  • Create literary texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have experienced in innovative ways (ACELT1618)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)
  • Reread and edit students’ own and others’ work using agreed criteria and explaining editing choices (ACELY1715)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)

Syllabus OutcomesST3-10LW, ST3-11LWEN3-2A, EN3-7C

Topic: Biodiversity

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity and assist students with research

Resources required: Internet access, students worksheet, materials for making mock newspaper pages (optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Desktop publishing program for making newspaper page (optional), digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Coral reef, newspaper, molluscs, fish, coral, cetaceans, crustaceans, jellyfish, marine reptiles, birds.

 

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Great-Barrier-Reef-hero-CA-260x300 fixedTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Students identify key features of coral reef ecosystems and recognise core elements of newspapers and news print media.

Hot tips: Ask students to complete the flipped classroom activity prior to commencing this activity.

Student and classroom organisation:

Step 1. Begin the activity by asking students to share what they already know about coral reefs. Consider the following questions in your discussion and share the answers on the board:

  • What are the main features of a coral reef?
  • What sorts of animals and plants can you find in a coral reef?
  • Where can you find coral reefs around the world?
  • Which coral reefs have you visited, if you’ve been lucky enough to visit any?

Step 2. Break the class into at least 8 groups, and assign each group with one of the following categories:

  • Coral
  • Fish
  • Cetaceans
  • Crustaceans
  • Molluscs
  • Jellyfish
  • Marine reptiles
  • Birds

In their groups, ask students to undertake research online to find o

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Student Worksheet

greate-barrier-reefThought starter - How many different species live on the Great Barrier Reef?

What group of animals are you looking at:

 

Write a description of the creatures in this group - what are the features or characteristics of creatures in this group?

 

List 5 creatures or types from this group that live in the coral reef ecosystem and write at least one interesting or important features for each creature.

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Using these same 5 creatures, write down where these creatures live within the coral reef.

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What do these creatures eat?

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What ‘role’ do these creatures perform in the coral reef ecosystem? What are their relationships with other parts of the ecosystem? (For example, does your creature provide a food source for many other creatures, or do they remove waste from the reef, or do they provide shelter or protection for other creatures?)

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