Blue - Ocean Changes Affecting Coral Reefs

Blue - Ocean Changes Affecting Coral Reefs

Lesson 2 of 4 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Oceans
  • Water
  • ...

Lesson summary

This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. Students investigate the causes of ocean warming and ocean acidification and analyse their impact on coral reefs. They begin by watching and responding to a clip about how the ocean is changing, and discuss the details of some of these changes. Using the jigsaw classroom method, students then work in groups to undertake research into ocean acidification and coral reefs, and will then work in different groups to make a scientific poster describing how increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affects the coral reefs. Finally, students are asked to watch another clip and to reflect on how their impressions of this clip are influenced by the scientific knowledge they acquired throughout this lesson.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • describe how the products of combustion reactions enter the ocean and affect its chemistry
  • understand how these changes impact the marine ecosystem.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • Identify the impact of carbon dioxide on the ocean
  • Understand the importance of coral reefs
  • Understand how carbon dioxide leads to ocean warming and ocean acidification
  • Understand how ocean warming and ocean acidification affect the coral reefs, impacting the marine ecosystem
  • Understand that science can be used to understand and solve problems
  • undertake research into scientific issues
  • produce a scientific poster.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Science:

  • Chemical reactions, including combustion and the reactions of acids, are important in both non-living and living systems and involve energy transfer (ACSSU179).
  • People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE160).
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170).

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-16CW, SC5-13ES, SC5-7WS

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1

Relevant parts of Year 9 Science achievement standards: Students describe examples of important chemical reactions and describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and. They use appropriate language and representations when communicating their findings and ideas to specific audiences.

Unit of work: Blue The Film – Science – Year 9 & 10.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Digital literacy

Additional info

Blue is a feature documentary film charting the drastic decline in the health of our oceans. With more than half of all marine life lost and the expansion of the industrialization of the seas, the film sets out the challenges we are facing and the opportunities for positive change. Blue changes the way we think about our liquid world and inspires the audience to action. Find out how to screen or download the film here. Along with the film is an ambitious global campaign to create advocacy and behaviour change through the #oceanguardian movement. To become an ocean guardian, see the website.

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