Mesophotic Corals


These selected lessons were developed by scientists and educators to demonstrate key concepts related to mesophotic corals. For more lessons, search the full lesson archive.

Older lessons are aligned to the National Science Education Standards and newer lessons support the Next Generation Science Standards  (and their associated Common Core Standards). All lessons from 2006 to the present also support the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts . Note: The links provided in lessons are verified at the time of publication, but over time, may change or become obsolete.

Jump to grade level:

5-6 7-8 9-12

Grades 5-6

A Piece of Cake (pdf, 289 KB)

Focus: Spatial heterogeneity in deep-water coral communities (Life Science)

Students will be able to explain what a habitat is and describe at least three functions or benefits that habitats provide. Students will be able to describe some habitats that are typical of deepwater hard bottom communities and to explain how organisms such as deepwater corals and sponges add to the variety of habitats in areas such as the Cayman Islands.

Read more

Grades 7-8

Aliens on the Reef (pdf, 515 KB)

Focus: Impacts of invasive species on coral reefs (Life Science)

Students explain interactions between native coral reef species and invasive lionfish and construct explanations that predict how these interactions may affect other ecosystems.

Read more

Grades 9-12

Forests of the Deep Ocean (pdf, 319 KB)

Focus: Mapping coral reef habitats (Life Science/Earth Science)

In this activity, students will be able to access data on selected coral reefs and manipulate these data to characterize these reefs and explain the need for baseline data in coral reef monitoring programs. Students also will be able to identify and explain five ways that coral reefs benefit human beings and identify and explain three major threats to coral reefs.

Read more

The above items are only a selection of the educational materials highlighting mesophotic coral ecosystems on our website.

View More