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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom, 50 minutes
  • Worksheets
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus




Resistance to Coral Bleaching

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  • In this activity, students interpret and analyze data presented in a bar graph from a study that investigated the potential for corals to become more resistant to bleaching.
  • It demonstrates how the increase in temperature affects coral reefs and if they might be able to cope with this change.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource includes the "Interpreting the Figures" and "Discussion Questions" sections that can be used to enhance students' critical thinking and interpretive skills.
  • The " Educator Materials" document contains labeled illustrations, background information, interpretation of the illustrations, and discussion questions.
  • Students learn how to analyze data from a scientific figure.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The teacher must download PDFs of the educator materials and the student handout.
  • There is a JPG available of the graph.
  • Teachers can find the materials in Spanish.


  • Support group (below level): The teacher could lead the discussion and help students develop observations and interpretations.
  • Extension group (above level): Students may be asked to research the relationship between the temperature of the water and the extent of coral bleaching.
  • The teacher could ask students to complete a project in which they describe how coral reefs benefit humans and other organisms and to explain coral bleaching and its impacts.
  • Other recommended resources include Coral Reefs in Hot Water and Changing Planet: Fading Corals.
Scientist Notes
This resource examines changes in coral colony and distribution as a result of temperature changes. It is a good method to test the impact of climate change on coral reefs. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.7 Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Statistics & Probability: Interpreting Categorical & Quantitative Data (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.A.3 Interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the context of the data sets, accounting for possible effects of extreme data points (outliers).
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.IC.A.1 Understand statistics as a process for making inferences about population parameters based on a random sample from that population.
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