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Teacher Guide

Coral Reefs: Animals Never Found in a Zoo

By Michelle Chang
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"Why are coral reefs dying? What can you do to stop their murder?"

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Student Guide

HELP! Coral reefs are dying and we need all the help we can get to stop their murder and make sure they survive.

Coral reefs are one of the richest ecosystems on earth. About 4,000 species of fish and 800 species of corals call coral reefs their home. Reefs cover only a small percentage of the ocean's area but they provide home to one-third of all the fish in the ocean and thousands of other animals. Coral reefs have often been described as the Rainforests of the Sea because they have many different species that call them home. You can learn more about coral reefs by checking out these internet sites. Once you have become a coral reef expert, you will figure out ways that you can help to conserve the coral reefs.
You will need:
1.Coral Reef Handout - Handout

What is a Coral Reef? Become a Coral Reef Expert
Since you have learned about coral reefs in class, you will now use the internet to learn even more. Check out these web sites to answer the questions for your first task. Write down your answers on the worksheet provided. To help you become a coral reef expert, answer these questions.

1. Are coral plants or animals? Explain how you know this.

2. How do coral polyps get food and digest it?

3. How are new coral babies formed?

4. Where can you find coral reefs?

5. Sketch a coral polyp and label the parts.

You will need:
1.Coral Reefs - Web Site
2.Missouri Botanical Gardens - Web Site
3.All About Coral - Web Site

What is Killing Coral Reefs?
Now that you are an expert on coral reefs, you will take on the role of an investigator and research what is killing coral reefs. Investigate these websites to learn all you can about threats to coral reefs. While doing your research, find the answers to the questions to fill in your worksheet.

1. What are three things that threaten coral reefs?

2. Why are these three things a threat to coral?

3. What do corals need in order to live?

You will need:
1.Threats to Coral Reefs - Web Site
2.The Coral Reef: An Underwater Garden - Web Site

What Can You Do To Conserve Coral Reefs?
Your research has paid off. You are now ready to use all that you have learned to figure out ways that you can save the coral reefs of our planet. Study these websites to help you come up with ways that you can help conserve coral reefs. Answer the following questions on your worksheet.

1. What does conserve mean?

2. Why is it important for you to help conserve coral reefs?

3. What can you do to help conserve coral reefs?
You will need:
1.Seaworld Keys to the Future - Web Site
2.25 Things You Can Do To Save Coral Reefs - Web Site
3.Can You Solve This Conservation Code? - Web Site

How Can You Teach Others About Saving Coral Reefs?
You are now a super coral reef conservationist! Share your knowledge with others by choosing one of the following activities.

1. Make a poster about saving coral reefs and present it to another classroom.

2. Prepare an oral presentation to share in another classroom.

3. Write a picture book and read it to your reading buddy.

4. Write a poem and illustrate it. Share the poem with your reading buddy.