Adaptation on the reef

Lesson overview:

Different species have adapted to life on the coral reef in amazing and diverse ways. From sleeping in mucus bubbles, to flexible snakelike skeletons, life on the reef has had to find ingenious methods for finding food and staying alive. The reef is also host to numerous examples of symbiosis, and creatures finding food and safety in the strangest of places – whether in a shark’s mouth or by ‘vacuuming’ the sandy seabed. In this lesson, students are challenged to create the ultimate reef animal.

Learning outcomes:

  • Identify specific adaptations used by living things on the reef
  • Explain the need for adaptation for survival
  • List a range of adaptations on the reef
  • Apply knowledge of adaptation to create the ultimate coral animal
  • Review understanding of adaptation

Lesson steps

  1. Why adapt? (10 mins)
    Use the slideshow to introduce the idea of adaptation using the example of the stonefish.
  2. Different adaptations (10 mins)
    Share a range of adaptation strategies used by living things on the reef.
  3. Ultimate coral animal (30 mins)
    Students apply their knowledge from the lesson so far, and from additional research to create their ultimate coral animal.
  4. Reflect on adaptation (10 mins)
    Students reflect on what they have learned about adaptation on the reef, with the opportunity to introduce the concept of evolution.