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Caution: Do Not Bleach!
In this lesson, students will investigate the importance of coral reefs to the Earth as a whole and learn some possible explanations for the phenomenon known as "coral bleaching". They should be able to identify ways that coral reefs benefit human beings, identify major threats to reefs and discuss how they might be reduced or eliminated, describe the Coral Reef Early Warning System, and discuss why corals might expel their zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae) when under stress.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Lesson plan
  • Biology
  • Environmental science
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Biological oceanography
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-007-698
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • C - Life science:
        • Population and ecosystems
        • Regulation and behavior
        • Reproduction and heredity
    • 9-12:
      • C - Life science:
        • Behavior of organisms
        • Interdependence of organisms
        • Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service