What is the structure of a coral reef?

Lesson overview

In this lesson, students will begin to develop further understanding of coral reefs, how they are formed, the importance of the coral polyp and how they grow from a single coral polyp to a huge coral reef. Students will then look at the coral reef zones and develop understanding of those different zones and their characteristics.

Learning outcomes

  • List the different scales of a coral reef
  • Describe what a coral polyp is and why it is important
  • Describe and explain the formation of different coral reefs
  • Describe the different habitat zones within a coral reef

Lesson steps

  1. Introduction to the lesson (5 mins)
    Students review the learning objectives.
  2. Coral polyps and coral reefs (10 mins)
    Student to learn about the different scales of coral reefs, they will look at the Reef scales gallery and watch a video.
  3. Incredible edible polyp (25 mins)
    Students to watch the video about coral polyps and will make them. Consolidating their understanding by answering questions.
  4. Formation of different reefs (10 mins)
    Students will complete the worksheet, matching pictures that show the formation of a coral atoll. They will also add descriptions of this process.
  5. The different reef habitat zones (10 mins)
    Students will complete Student Sheet 2b labelling the different zones of the reef habitat and identifying different coral types that can be found in each of these.