The Coral Reef Ecosystem

Coral reefs are a complex ecosystem on our planet. Found mainly within the tropics, they occupy 1% of the planet, but contribute infinitely to the planet.

For today's task you are to

1. Examine coral reefs as ecosystems

2. Locate coral reefs around the globe

The Coral Reef Ecosystem


What is a coral reef?

Click on the link

Read paragraph one, then answer the following question:

1. What is a coral reef?


Click on the link

Read the extract, then answer the following question:

1. What organism is responsible for coral reef formation?


2. Explain how this organism contributes to building the reef?



The reef is an ecosystem!

Click on the link and watch the video about Ecosystems

Then click on the following link which shows coral reefs as ecosystems                                                                                                                   

1. Give specific examples of each of the following components in the coral reef ecosystem














2. In the space below, draw a food web that exists in the coral reef ecosystem.












Location of Coral Reefs

Go to the following website

On the GIS map, the coral reefs are shown in red. Use the pointer to help navigate through the map.

Using your pencil, sketch in the location of the world’s coral reefs onto the blank outline map. Give the map a title.

Confirm the location of the coral reefs you have drawn on your map with the map found on the following website:

Write one observation you have made about the location of coral reefs on the world map.


Now go click on the following website to see why coral reefs are located in these areas. Scroll down to the section headed “Where Reefs Exist”

Based on the information from the above website, explain why coral reefs have established in the Caribbean.




Hand in your group worksheet at the end of the lesson for grading before the start of the next session.

Your worksheet will be graded using the criteria below. 


EXCELLENT                             (4-5 MARKS)

GOOD                    (2-3 MARKS)

POOR                     (0-1 MARKS)


All activities of each task in the WebQuest are completed

One or two activities in the WebQuest are omitted or incomplete

More than 3 activities in the WebQuest are omitted or incomplete


All points of information are accurate

There are one or two incorrect points of information

There are more than 3 incorrect points of information


Illustrations are neat, well labelled and shows accurate information.

Illustrations and somewhat neat, some labels are missing and shows mostly accurate information.

Illustrations are untidy, many labels are missing and shows some inaccurate information.


All group members were observed participating in all of the tasks and activities.

Two to three group members were observed participating in tasks and activities.

One group member was observed participating in/directing the tasks and activities.

Now that your have learnt about coral reefs as functioning ecosystems on our planet, and where they are located, you shall journey to explore the ways in which reefs form.