Dive into the world of the coral reef ecosystem through a variety of engaging, hands-on activities and games. Learn about coral polyp anatomy, the ecological importance of coral reefs, and the critical environmental conditions necessary for coral to survive.

You can use this kit to prepare your students for a field trip to the Academy's Philippine Coral Reef Exhibit. Or, if you can't make it to the Academy, use the kit on its own to bring the reef to you!


  • curriculum binder
  • large coral specimens
  • 18 small coral specimens
  • 35 hand lenses
  • 8 ZOOB kits
  • "Where in the World Is Coral" display board
  • 8 sets of the "Coral Polyp Reproduction" game
  • 8 sets of "The Ecosystem of Coral Reefs" memory game
  • 8 sets of the "Fragile Coral Reef" game
  • Books: "Coral Reef Fishes by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers; "Coral Reef Food Chains" by Kellet MacAulay and Bobbie Kalman; "A Coral Reef" by Jen Green; "One Small Square: Coral Reef" by Donald Silver; and "DK 24 Hours: Coral Reef" by Caroline Bingham
  • DVDs: "Blue Planet: Coral Seas"



A Close Look at Coral Skeletons: Examine the skeletal structure of hard coral specimens, discover where the coral polyps live, and practice your observation skills.

Build a Coral Polyp: Learn about the anatomy of a coral polyp and the symbiotic relationship between corals and zooxanthellae as you build a delicious edible model of a coral polyp.

Coral Polyp Reproduction--Build a Coral Colony: Learn about sexual and asexual reproduction in coral with this fast-paced game.

Where in the World Is Coral: Practice reading and interpreting world maps as you learn the locations of coral reefs and the connections between living and non-living components of an ecosystem.

The Ecosystem of Coral Reefs: Discover some of the beautiful fish that inhabit coral reefs through this memory game.

The Fragile Coral Reef: Explore natural and human impacts on coral reef ecosystems in this exciting game.


California Science Content Standards

We are in the process of aligning the kits with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS connections will be posted here in the near future.

Grade Three

Life Sciences

  • 3a. Students know plants and animals have structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction.
  • 3b. Students know examples of diverse life forms in different environments, such as oceans, deserts, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands.
  • 3c. Students know living things cause changes in the environment in which they live: some of these changes are detrimental to the organism or other organisms, and some are beneficial.
  • 3d. Students know when the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce; others die or move to new locations.

Investigation and Experimentation

  • 5c. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects, events, and measurements.
  • 5d. Predict the outcome of a simple investigation and compare the result with the prediction.
  • 5e. Collect data in an investigation and analyze those data to develop a logical conclusion.

Grade Four

Life Sciences

  • 3a. Students know ecosystems can be characterized by their living and nonliving components.
  • 3b. Students know that in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 3d. Students know that most microorganisms do not cause disease and that many are beneficial.

Grade Six


Ecology (Life Sciences)


  • 5e. Students know the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and in abiotic factors, such as quantities of light and water, a range of temperatures, and soil composition.

Grade Seven

Life Sciences

  • 2a. Students know the differences between the life cycles and reproduction methods of sexual and asexual organisms.

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