September 27, 2015
by Theresa Talley

Lesson plan

Coral Reef Creatures

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Grade Subject

Students will identify selected coral reef creatures in a matching game format and use the appropriate distinguishing creature colors and features to color the creatures.

(10 minutes)
  • Announce that today we will explore life in a coral reef, a place where many sea creatures live.
  • Ask students to imagine they are scuba divers swimming around a coral reef and to share what they see.
  • List responses on the board under "Coral Reef Creatures."
  • Announce that a coral reef video will introduce us to some creatures that live there. Add that students should compare what we see on the video to our Coral Reef Creatures list as they watch.
  • Project the Coral Reefs video.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students what was learned about coral reefs from the video. Specifically, ask what the students think a coral reef is. Explain that corals are actually animals called polyps that start out small and form reefs as they grow.
  • Review the Coral Reef Creatures list. Ask students what to erase or add based on what was learned so far.
  • Explain that the class will play a “What am I?” type guessing game in teams to learn more about coral reef creatures.
  • Model how to play the game: Choose one of the Coral Creatures Matching Game cards and read the description. Following the description ask students what creature they think the card refers to. Use the answer key to provide an answer if you are unsure.
(10 minutes)
  • Group students into teams and divide cards up between them. There should be 11 remaining cards.
  • Play the game as a whole group, with the teacher as moderator. For example, the teacher may call out a team and ask one member to read the description. Students in that team guess, then allow other teams to guess if the right answer is not stated. As moderator, the teacher will give the correct answer after two incorrect answers.
  • Collect the cards at the conclusion of the game and tell students that this game provided the information needed to complete a label and color sheet.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the Life in the Reef worksheet and give directions.
  • Remind students that what was learned in the game will help them to color the creatures correctly.
  • Enrichment: Challenge students to list features of the coral reef habitat that provide survival needs for each creature.
  • Support: Provide game cards to use during the worksheet activity.
(10 minutes)
  • Read the number for the worksheet and ask for students to respond with the label that they wrote.
  • Provide each correct label for each number. Students will use a marker to circle incorrect responses.
  • Collect worksheets and assign percentage grades.
(5 minutes)
  • Say each coral creature name on the worksheet and ask for volunteers to give one defining characteristic and how it was colored on the individual’s worksheet.
  • Other students will respond with a thumbs up or thumbs down based on their agreement or disagreement.

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