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UCI Science Project, The Ocean Agency


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

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  • Lesson Plans
  • Presentation Slides
  • Artwork
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 4 minutes, 45 seconds
  • Videos, 1 minute, 2 seconds
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Google Slides, PDF

The Magic of Coral Secondary Lesson Plan

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  • This lesson plan and materials include everything needed to deliver a highly engaging and important lesson about coral bleaching. 
  • Students will learn through inquiry, reflect on how humans impact coral ecosystems, and cultivate awareness with a culminating art installation.
Teaching Tips


  • The materials that accompany this lesson are beautifully designed and well researched. 
  • The teacher notes that accompany each slide are thorough and will help teachers deliver an engaging learning experience. 
  • This lesson can take one session, but there are plenty of optional additional materials that will extend learning.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students would benefit from understanding scientific vocabulary terms such as carbon emissions, carbon footprint, polyp, and zooxanthellae. 
  • For the optional extension, teachers will need to locate a space to display the art installation and materials for the artwork. 


  • Cross-curricular connections can be made for this resource in a language arts classroom where students use their learning to create persuasive writing, speeches, or public service announcements to persuade their audience to pledge to make a change that will benefit coral and mitigate coral bleaching. 
  • Teachers could project the infographic onto a whiteboard and have students mark it up with reactions using dry erase markers to show what aspects of the piece are most meaningful, surprising, or exciting to them. 
  • Other related resources include this interactive video about coral bleaching, this lab unit on coral, and this activity where students can interpret data about coral resistance to bleaching. 
Scientist Notes
Corals appear to be the "rainforest" of the sea. The impact of corals on the marine ecosystem is enormous and it is worth exploring. Students will be excited to learn about the roles humans can play in restoring coral reefs in our marine ecosystem. This resource is suitable for the classroom.

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

  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 10 - Synthesizing and relating knowledge and personal experiences to create products.
      • 1.5.12acc.Cn10a: Utilize inquiry methods of observation, research and experimentation to explore other subjects through art-making.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.PE.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
      • SL.II.11–12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
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