Coral Polyps: Plants or Animals?
© Bart Shepherd
We have Bilingual Educators! Let us know if any students or chaperones in your class might benefit from activities taught in: Cantonese, Mandarin, or Spanish.
By the end of this program, students will be able to:
construct an explanation of how corals are animals using evidence gathered
understand the mutual relationship between zooxanthellae and coral
recognize the human impact on coral ecosystems, both beneficial and harmful
Are coral polyps plants or animals? What are key differences between plants and animals? How does coral get its food? Your students will explore these questions over the course of the program, through a clear learning progression. They will use scientific skills to explore real coral specimens and role play with engaging costumes and a skit. Students learn that environmental factors can impact the coral’s ability to get food, and some important ways we can work together to protect our coral from harm.
Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI)
- LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience - When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.
Crosscutting Concept (CCC)
- Cause and Effect: Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
Related Performance Expectations (PEs)*
- 3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all
- 3-LS4-4: Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change
*This activity or unit is just one of many that could help prepare your students to perform the following hypothetical tasks that demonstrate their understanding.
Select a Wednesday or Thursday as your preferred visit dates to improve your chances of getting a Coral Polyps program for your class.
This 45-minute program for 3rd grade classes from San Francisco schools is offered twice daily on Wednesdays and Thursdays, once at 10:00 am and again at 11:15 am.
We recommend you plan a visit with a buddy teacher from your school!