How is coral reef biodiversity useful and important?

Lesson Overview

This lesson begins by establishing the aims of the unit. The students will use the information in this unit to select and justify a site for a Marine Protected Area (MPA) off the coast of Belize. This lesson will cover the importance of coral reefs, the so called ‘rain forests of the sea’, to a local community in Timor-Leste. Students develop their understanding of mutualism, biodiversity and how it is useful and important to us and the Earth as a whole.

Learning outcomes
  • Say what a coral reef is and identify locations
  • Outline the structure and scale of a coral reef
  • Define the key terms ‘mutualism’ and ‘biodiversity’.
  • Explain the importance of biodiversity to resilience.
Lesson steps
  1. Brief (10 mins)
    Students are introduced to the purpose of the module and gaining some background information on Timor-Leste. Students set themselves targets based on the learning criteria of the lesson. Students to look at the 360 images in The Great Barrier Reef gallery and answer questions about the coral reef.
  2. All about coral (15 mins)
    Using the slideshow, students learn background information about the scale of coral reefs and complete a card sort to rank the different scales and answer follow-up questions.
  3. Biodiversity (20 mins)
    Using the slideshow, students learn how biodiversity is important to ecological resilience. Students demonstrate their learning by answering questions on the student sheet.
  4. Self reflection (15 mins)
    Students decide if they have met their targets set at the beginning of the lesson and reflect on the lesson’s importance to the context of the unit of work through answering questions.