In this activity, students will learn that color is an important adaptation for many coral reef organisms, and find all the colors of the rainbow within the California Academy of Sciences’ coral reef.
In this activity, students will:
- learn that color is an important adaptation for many coral reef organisms.
- find all the colors of the rainbow within the California Academy of Sciences’ coral reef.
Before Your Visit
Tell your students that they will be going to go to the California Academy of Sciences and will see a living coral reef that is extremely colorful. Tell them that color is something that can help an organism survive in its environment. Ask them why color might be an important adaptation for an organism. Example answers include camouflage, attracting a mate, and signaling that it is poisonous.
- Give each student a copy of the Coral Reef Color Wheel.
- Have students color the outer sections of the color wheel on both sides of the handout. For example, the students color the section that says “RED” with a red crayon or colored pencil.
- Make sure to tell students to leave the inner portions of the color wheel blank for sketching and writing at the California Academy of Sciences.
- Tell students that there is already one example sketch on their worksheet and that they will find coral reef creatures of many different colors to fill in the rest of the coral reef color wheel at the California Academy of Sciences.
At the Museum
- At the California Academy of Sciences, instruct students to find something of each color within the coral reef exhibit.
- Students fill in the rest of the color wheel with their own drawings.
- Ask students to fill in the other side of the wheel with text explaining why each organism has that coloring. (For example: the lionfish is red to signal it has poisonous spines.)