- Easier - Coral is
a substance that is formed by the skeletons of sea
animals. Live, healthy coral is often brightly
colored. Large coral groups form rounded or
branching masses. A strip or ridge of solidified
coral at or near an ocean surface is called a coral
- Harder - Coral is
a limestone formation formed in the sea by millions
of tiny animals called polyps. Most coral polyps
live together in colonies. They attach themselves
to each other with a flat sheet of tissue that
connects to the middle of another polyp body; half
of the coral polyp extends above and the remaining
half is below the connective sheet. Coral polyps
remove calcium out of the sea water to build their
limestone skeletons. They then deposit calcium
carbonate (limestone) around their lower body
halves. When the animals die, they leave limestone
"skeletons" that become the foundations of barriers
and ridges called coral reefs. As new polyps grow,
their mass makes the limestone formation larger and
- Diverse coral formations may resemble branching
trees, large domes, small irregular crusts, or tiny
organ pipes. The living coral-forming animals color
the formations in beautiful hues of tan, orange,
yellow, purple, and green. Coral animals cannot
live in water cooler than 65 °F (18 °C),
therefore coral reefs are found mostly in warm,
shallow, and tropical seas.
Reef from Enchanted Learning
- Start with a summary of coral reefs, then go to
the coral reef animal printouts.
- Related Websites:
- 2) All About the Coral Reef http://www.reefrelief.org/coral_reef_body.html
- 3) Coral Reefs from In The Wild
- 4) Coral Reefs from Solcomhouse
- 5) Coral Reefs from National Parks
- 6) Coral Reefs from the World Wildlife
- 7) Coral Reefs: The Rainforests of the Sea from
- Of all the creatures dwelling on coral reefs,
none are more active or obvious than the fishes.
Learn more about them.
- Here you can see spectacular views of coral and
their behaviors from marine biologists in Coral
Things You Can Do To Help Save Coral
- Items 1 to 5 http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov/books/reefs/reef1-5.htm
- Items 6 to 10 http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov/books/reefs/reef6-10.htm
- Items 11 to 15 http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov/books/reefs/reef11-15.htm
- Items 16 to 20 http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov/books/reefs/reef16-20.htm
- Items 21 to 25 http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov/books/reefs/reef21-25.htm
- Find out what you can do to help protect these
'rain forests of the sea.'
- Related Websites:
- 2) Coral Reef Protection from U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's Office of
Wetlands, Oceans, & Watersheds http://www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/coral/index.html
- 3) Coral Reefs from Mother Jones Action
- 4) Coral Reef Ecology http://www.uvi.edu/coral.reefer/index.html
- 5) Guide To Protecting Coral Reefs http://www.edf.org/pubs/Reports/protectcr.html
- 6) National Plan Breathes New Life Into Coral
Reefs by L. Chubb
- 7) What You Can Do from Reef Relief
- 8) Saving the Coral Reefs by R. Moreau,
- After visiting several of the websites
for coral reefs, complete one or more of
the following activities:
- Complete A Coral Reefs
WebQuest. Modify or follow the
instructions found at one of the following
- 1) Coral Reefs Endangerer by A. Bates
- 2) Dive to the Coral Reef Web Quest by
- 3) Murder in the Tropics: An Online
WhoDunIt by Z. Gladstone
- 4) Operation Reef Rescue! A Coral Reef
WebQuest by D. Breslow, J. Brooks, R.
- & J. Monahon http://www2.lhric.org/kat/CORAL.HTM
- 5) Save the Coral Reefs (Grade 6) by
- Create A Coral Reef Mural.
Layout and construct your own coral reef
artwork. Include the wide range of marine
life found in a healthy coral reef.
Incorporate the vivid colors found in
coral colonies. Display your completed
- Take Action to Save Coral
Reefs. Predictions for coral reef
depredation are both imminent and grave.
Research the problem and its effects at
- 1) Climate Change and the World's
Coral Reefs from Greenpeace
- 2) Coral Reefs and Climate Change from
the National Wildlife
- 3) Coral Reefs: Are We Doing Too
Little Too Late? from CNN
- 4) Coral Reefs and Biodiversity: What
Does Management Have To Do With It?
- by F. Talbot http://www.aloha.net/~sos/Talbot.html
- 5) Coral Reefs 'Face Total Destruction
Within 50 Years' by T. Radford, The
- 6) Reefs Damaged by Global Warming for
- 7) Status of Coral Reefs of the World:
2000 by C. Wilkinson
- from the Australian Institute of
- Follow up by exploring the sites that
recommend steps you can take to help save
our coral reefs. Layout your own personal
action plan that details the steps you are
going to take. Follow through. Keep a
journal record of your actions.
- Create A 'Save the Coral Reefs'
Poster. Help educate and influence
others to take part in saving our planet's
coral reefs. Display your completed poster
in a public location - - see if your
school, public library, or neighborhood
grocery will post your work.
- Compare / Contrast Coral Reefs With
Tide Pools. Analyze these two marine
ecosystems. How are they alike and how do
they differ? Show your results in a
spreadsheet or in an Inspiration chart.
You can learn more at the 42eXplore
- Write A Coral Reef Poem. Create
an original poem about tide pools. You may
want to illustrate it with your own
artwork. Share your poetry with family and
- Speculate On the Future of Coral
Reefs. Pretend that it is the year
2100. What will our planet's coral reefs
be like then? Write two different
scenarios: (1) the best possible situation
and why/how it took place and (2) what may
happen if we cannot save them.
- Websites By Kids For Kids
Realm (1999 ThinkQuest Internet
- Explore the uniqueness of the coral reefs and
their living inhabitants. Learn about ecological
issues and the many ways to protect these natural
structures of coral reefs.
Reef: An Underwater Garden (2001
ThinkQuest Junior Project)
- The students in this group became
"oceanographers" and used a variety of resources to
locate facts and compile information about the
Reef Animals (Grade 5) from Bardwell
Elementary School, Illinois
- 1) http://www.d131.kane.k12.il.us/Bardwell/coral.htm
- 2) http://www.d131.kane.k12.il.us/Bardwell/coral2.htm
- Here you can find what students learned about
many different marine animals from clownfish to
shellfish to silvertip sharks and lots more.
Reefs (1998 ThinkQuest Junior
- Learn more about coral reefs and complete some
Reefs (1999 ThinkQuest Junior
- This site teaches about the importance of
coral, types of coral, and coral reefs.
Reefs (1999 ThinkQuest Internet
- Plant or Animal? Learn the facts about the
ecology and conservation of coral reefs. The plight
of coral reefs around the world, their
disappearance due to pollution, overfishing, and
other ecological change, needs to be known and
the Coral Reefs (1999 ThinkQuest Junior
- Learn about life in the coral reef: who or what
lives in the reef, where they are found, water
temperature, and more.
Barrier Reef (2000 ThinkQuest Junior
- From environmental issues to how coral grows,
this site provides information about the Great
Organisms from a class at Kapunahala
Elementary School, Hawaii
- This site contains descriptions and
illustrations of various reef organisms found in
Hawaiian tide pools, such as mollusks, sponges, and
into Hawaii's Coral Reef ( Platinum Award,
2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project) from
Enchanted Lake Elementary School,
- This project validates that Hawaii's coral reef
is indeed the tropical rain forest of the sea.
to the Coral Reef (1999 ThinkQuest
- Learn what is happening to coral reefs and what
you can do to help save them.
- More Websites About Coral Reefs
Reef Ecology from the U.S. Geological
- Site contains information specific to coral
reefs in the Caribbean and western Atlantic
regions, plus a printable information sheets on
coral reef ecology.
Reefs from SeaWorld/Busch
- This site has facts about coral reefs and links
to organizations attempting to preserve them.
- Related Websites from SeaWorld/Busch
- 2) Corals and Coral Reefs http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Coral/home.html
- Similar Websites from Other
- 3) Coral Reef Alliance http://www.coralreefalliance.org/
- 4) Coral Reefs form the National Aquarium in
Sheet - Coral Reefs by the Ecological
Society of America
- Learn about the ecological role of coral reefs
and threats to them.
- Related Website:
- 2) Coral Reef Fact Sheet http://www.pacificwhale.org/childrens/fsreef.html
Barrier Reef (Australia)
- Learn about the world's largest coral reef
- Related Websites:
- 2) Great Barrier Reef and Islands http://www2.eis.net.au/~nqtds/infocomm/1overv1.html
- 3) Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
- 4) How the Great Barrier Reef Was Formed by B.
Coral Reef Network
- This website provides extensive information on
the many coral reef communities of the Hawaiian
Pulse' - Coral Reef Monitoring
- This school project educates the community
about coral reef ecology. It was active from 1995
to 2000. Their vision was to establish a global
network of informed and empowered 'reef keepers' to
insure the well-being of coral reefs worldwide for
Atoll: Rainforest of the Sea from One
- Join an an expedition exploring the coral reefs
of the Palmyra Atoll.
- Take a tour of the various zones which make up
a coral reef.
- Websites For Teachers
Reef Lesson Plan
- This page contains, ready to go, all the
background information you need to teach the
lesson, including handouts and evaluation
Reefs (Grades 6-8) by B. Hedberg from
- Students will understand the animals that live
in a coral reef are uniquely suited to their
on the Reef from the Smithsonian
- In this lesson, learners will identify the main
parts of a coral reef and describe the coral reef
the Coral Reefs (Grades 4-6) by W. Brooks,
L. Price, and A. Abbuhl
- The goal of the lesson is to generate interest
in and knowledge about Coral Reefs. Students will
produce exhibitions which demonstrate knowledge and
understanding of coral reefs.
the Sea: A Lifetime of Color (Grades 5-6)
- In this 'springboard' lesson activity, students
conduct research to find and then color code the
locations of coral reefs around the world.
- Related Lesson:
- 2) Build a Coral Reef (Grades 2-5) by
N.Ericson, L. Gruber, S. McNeal, and K. Myers
white band disease
black band disease
- Created by