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Coral reef mural

This activity is a fun way to learn about the coral reef, by making your very own reef mural. You can use your model reef as a reference point for science learning, for instance exploring concepts such as food chains, adaptation, classification and human impacts on the environment.

Ages 7+

60 minutes

You will need an area of wall at least 2 metres wide by 1 metre high. If you are doing this activity at school, consider setting aside one wall of the classroom and have the whole class working on the same mural each adding an example of coral life. The background could be prepared by staff in advance.

Activity Steps

  1. Cut a piece of yellow backing paper to make the seafloor. You can cut a pattern into the top to represent the shape of the reef.
  2. Add a blue layer of paper for the sea, cutting a wave pattern into the top.
  3. Add another layer of backing paper in a different shade of blue for the sky.
  4. Choose at least two types of plants or algae and two corals from the coral life checklist (see What you'll need section), and the relevant pictures from the coral life templates.
  5. To help colour or decorate these, search for images in the Coral life gallery.
  6. Stick these examples around the bottom of your mural to form the reef habitat for the rest of your animals.
  7. Select a range of other coral animals for your reef. Try to have a selection of different types of invertebrates, fish, and other vertebrates.
  8. Use the coral life templates or search for images in the Coral life gallery.
  9. Arrange the creatures around your reef mural. Different animals live on different parts of the reef, as you can find by browsing through the Coral life gallery.
  10. You can place the coral life on the coral itself, on the seafloor, swimming or flying.

Safety guidance

  • Use child-safe scissors and paper glue.

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Coral Oceans Science 7 11 Thumb

Science | Ages 7-11

Coral Oceans

These resources for ages 7-11 are based on the journeys undertaken by science teams taking part in the XL Catlin Seaview Survey expeditions. These resources present a complete scheme of work for the science classroom, covering core science and sustainability curriculum areas as well as enhancing students' creative and communications skills.