Coral classification

Lesson overview:

This lesson introduces students to the range of life on the reef. Starting off by learning to name and identify different species, students will then sort these into different groups and start to use classification keys. More advanced classes may want to devise their own keys.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand that living things can be grouped based on observable characteristics
  • Use scientific language to describe groups of living things
  • Identify and name a variety of living things using classification keys to assign them to groups
  • Review classification and identification and demonstrate new learning in the context of underwater exploration

Lesson steps

  1. Grouping coral life (15 mins)
    Introduce students to the idea of grouping living things based on observable characteristics and ask them to think about how to group coral life.
  2. Grouping scientifically (15 mins)
    Students then develop their understanding of classification by using a key to identify the scientific groups that different living things belong to.
  3. Coral keys (20 mins)
    Having used a key, students design their own key, designed to be used to identify different invertebrates on the reef.
  4. Dive log (10 mins)
    Students complete the lesson by identifying the scientific group for different living things they encounter on a virtual dive, before reflecting on their learning using a dive log.