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Educator Resources

Class Discussion

Establish Prior Knowledge

Have students share what they know about marine species and whether they think all the marine species have been discovered and described. Explain that marine biologists are currently trying to create a database of all marine life.  Tell students that, in the Snapshot they are about to see, marine biologists share the results of an expedition to three coral reefs off the coast of Australia.


Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Working in small groups, have students answer one of the questions below.

  1. What are coral reefs and where are they found?
  2. What are the benefits of coral reefs?

   3. How are coral reefs being damaged?


When groups are finished have them report their findings to the rest of the class. Pose the following question:

  • How will the census help marine biologists evaluate the health of coral reefs in the future?