Overview: The Wonderful World of Corals

In this unit, students examine coral reef communities, identify organisms that live within the reef ecosystem, and learn their Hawaiian names. Students learn about the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers in the cycling of matter and flow of energy as they interact in marine food chains and webs. They also find striking similarities between coral reefs and rainforests, highlighting features that enable organisms to inhabit different living spaces in this amazing ecosystem. In an inquiry investigation targeting fish feeding mechanisms, student
groups participate in an experiment designed to collect data and formulate conclusions on these mechanisms. Supported by online research, students focus on unique characteristics and feeding interactions of a variety of invertebrate species and fish families common to the coral reef ecosystem.

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characteristics, communities, consumers, coral reef, data, decomposers, ecosystem, flow of energy, Hawaiian, identify, living spaces, marine food chain, organisms, rainforests, similarities