The Great Barrier Reef stretches for over 2,300 kilometres along the eastern coast of Australia, but the creatures that have created this habitat can measure just a few millimetres across. This lesson covers the basic anatomy of the coral polyp, their life cycle and reproductive processes, and finishes with a game that shows how tropical coral polyps get their energy boost to create such amazing structures.
- Understand that one of the few living structures visible from space is made up of tiny animals
- Describe the anatomy of a coral polyp
- Explain and compare the life cycle of coral
- Understand the different methods that coral polyps use to get their energy
- Review learning and reflect on the role of the coral polyp in creating the reef
- Reef scales (10 mins)
Use the reef scales card sort to develop students’ knowledge of the different scales on the reef.
- Incredible edible polyp (25 mins)
Students undertake an anatomical exploration of the coral polyp using a selection of fruit, confectionery, and biscuits. They might want to eat this!
- Coral life cycle (15 mins)
Students learn about the life cycle of the coral polyp and compare it to the life cycle of an animal found in their local environment.
- Dive log (10 mins)
Students reflect on their learning and use their new coral knowledge to complete their dive logs.
Extension or home learning:
Students can learn more about how coral polyps get energy using the Coral feeding game activity.