Activity Introduction

school-of-fish-photoframe-260x300 fixedQuick 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.

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 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.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

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

Big-School-Fish-hero-CA-260x300 fixedTeacher 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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