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Hidden Corals from the Deep

Episode:109Te Papa Collection:Natural Environment

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 7

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Science: Living World

Description:We think of corals as the colourful outgrowths that you'd see if you were snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, or in the lagoons of a Pacific island. They're actually the skeletons of animals, and they can grow to amazing sizes and shapes.

Questions for students

  1. What are corals? Listen to the curator again then explain what they are in your own words.
  2. Why are the corals in Te Papa's collection all dead? How would they look in their 'live' state in the ocean?
  3. Compare the shapes and sizes of corals with other living things such as trees, or lungs. Why do you think some shapes can be found in very different plant and animal species?
  4. What are the main threats to coral? Describe how each threat can harm the coral, using scientific knowledge to support your explanations. How will declaring coral 'protected' make a difference to its survival?
  5. What more would you like to know about coral or about Te Papa's coral collection? Use the 'Key questions' response template to list your questions. Find sources of information and make notes as you find answers.

Related templates:

Key questions