So I have been thinking long and hard on how I can introduce my students to coral reef conditions and I have thought of a few ideas. First I will familiarize them with sea surface temperatures and the use of satellites to detect them. NOAA has some great free online programs that I have used with my students before in addition to many other free programs that help monitor conditions on earth. http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/
Second I would like to introduce students to the effect of sea surface temperature on overall coral health. I will have students look into coral reef ecology and the impacts of climate change. At Curtis High School we have many available laptops that students can use during class to look at simulations about coral bleaching. I plan on having students look at past mass bleaching events and what the sea surface temperatures were when these bleaching events occurred.
Students will come up with reasons why bleaching events have occurred by researching some journal articles and literature that discuss climate change. I will also have students familiarize themselves on how to find educational sources online using webquests. Students will answer questions together as groups on why coral reefs are important and what would happen if they were destroyed.
Since I have looked into zooxanthellae I will teach students about the symbiotic relationship between coral and algae. I have preserved slides of my samples that we can look at in class and discuss further this partnership.
Background information will be provided in the beginning of the week’s lesson so students get a broad idea of what is going on in terms of coral conservation and research.
I will plan some discussion questions as well as have students come up with questions about coral reef conservation and connectivity. This will help students come up with problem solving techniques that are important in critical thinking. There are also additional satellite programs I will look into to monitor other aspects of the earth and link how technology can be found elsewhere besides just in video games.