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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom, 50 minutes
  • Worksheets
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus




Resistance to Coral Bleaching

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  • In this activity, students interpret and analyze data presented in a bar graph from a study that investigated the potential for corals to become more resistant to bleaching.
  • It demonstrates how the increase in temperature affects coral reefs and if they might be able to cope with this change.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource includes the "Interpreting the Figures" and "Discussion Questions" sections that can be used to enhance students' critical thinking and interpretive skills.
  • The " Educator Materials" document contains labeled illustrations, background information, interpretation of the illustrations, and discussion questions.
  • Students learn how to analyze data from a scientific figure.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The teacher must download PDFs of the educator materials and the student handout.
  • There is a JPG available of the graph.
  • Teachers can find the materials in Spanish.


  • Support group (below level): The teacher could lead the discussion and help students develop observations and interpretations.
  • Extension group (above level): Students may be asked to research the relationship between the temperature of the water and the extent of coral bleaching.
  • The teacher could ask students to complete a project in which they describe how coral reefs benefit humans and other organisms and to explain coral bleaching and its impacts.
  • Other recommended resources include Coral Reefs in Hot Water and Changing Planet: Fading Corals.
Scientist Notes
This resource examines changes in coral colony and distribution as a result of temperature changes. It is a good method to test the impact of climate change on coral reefs. This is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Mathematics
    • Statistics & Probability: Interpreting Categorical & Quantitative Data (9-12)
      • HSS.ID.A.3 Interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the context of the data sets, accounting for possible effects of extreme data points (outliers).
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • HSS.IC.A.1(+) Understand statistics as a process for making inferences about population parameters based on a random sample from that population.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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