Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Coral Reefs: Build a Coral Reef

Most of the books featured in the Picture Book Science series have been works of fiction. Coral Reefs differs in that it's a non-fiction picture book.

It's a beautifully illustrated book, filled with easy-to-understand facts about the formation of coral reefs and the habitats they create. 

Have your students work together to create a coral reef in your classroom. 

Each student is given a balloon to cover in newspaper strips coated in paper mache.  You can use your favorite paper mache recipe, watered down white glue or liquid starch.

I skimped on the newspaper strips, but your students will cover their balloons more thoroughly.

While the balloons are still wet, stack them together.

When the paper mache has dried, pop the balloons. 
Remember, yours will look much better because the students will have been more thorough with the newspaper, and it will be a larger structure.
The balloons represent the living organisms and hardened newspaper represents that hardened shells of the organisms.  When the organisms die (i.e. the balloon is popped), the shells remain. 

This model is great at showing how fragile coral reefs are.  And it provides a neat prop for your further study of coral reefs and the animals that inhabit them.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! We're going to be reaching this soon in our science book.