*This is a sponsored through a partnership with WeAreTeachers and NatureWorksEverywhere.org, two organizations that I fully and professionally support.
Hey, teacher friends! Remember the last time we did a virtual field trip? (Wait, don't get too excited. You're not purchasing a plane ticket and getting to stay in a hotel in another country. This is VIRTUAL so you'll be going along for the ride without having to take out your passport. You don't even have to go through security checkpoints for this trip. You're welcome.)
This time, we're going to the Coral Reefs of Palau.
How gorgeous is this coral reef?
Next week, on May 19, The Nature Conservancy is taking it's third virtual field trip at 12:00 p.m. ET. Like the ones I've posted previously, the plan is to join a live Google Hangout for grades 3-8 classrooms focused on the diverse ecosystem of Palau’s Coral Reefs and the symbiotic relationships between its many organisms, plus what endangers it and how people can help protect it. BECAUSE WE ONLY GET ONE EARTH, PEOPLE.
One of my favorite things about being an educator with a blog platform is sharing things like this with readers. Sure, there's a lot of talk about what's important to teach and mandates from the local and federal government, but this is an easy way for teachers to add fabulous stuff to their curriculum without even leaving the classroom. All you need is a Wifi connection and Google Hangout.
My own school is quite lucky in that we have a 1:1 laptop program for our students so everyone has access to technology. It's not just learning how to use the applications, but it's in how they apply it. All of our textbooks are loaded onto the computers and we use Google Classroom (as well as a plethora of other apps and programs) so a field trip like this is perfect for building their knowledge and making a real, live emotional connection to the environmental issues that are at the heart of The Nature Conservancy’s mission.
What do you need to do?
First of all, if you'd like to sign up for this Virtual Field Trip, make sure you do so by going here.
Next, read about what The Nature Conservancy says for background information on The Coral Reefs of Palau: Nature’s Amazing Underwater Cities
The Coral Reefs of Palau are a remote network of islands deep in the Pacific Ocean. Here, sharks snatch up smaller prey; decorator crabs apply bits of shell, algae, and sponge to their own backs for camouflage; and massive 2,000-pound sea cows graze. Our journey to the Coral Reefs will open students’ eyes to an amazing, interconnected ecosystem built on symbiosis and mutualism, where diverse organisms are designed to protect, clean, nourish, and even camouflage one another. In this underwater city, the coral supports its many “workers” and they, in turn, keep the coral healthy.
IT'S LIKE TOTALLY A SYMBIOTIC SYSTEM, Y'ALL.
The coral reefs are called “the medicine chests of the sea,” because they provide ingredients that are leading to new lifesaving medications. They are also an astonishingly rich source of food for many species, including humans, and provide a perfect buffer to protect shorelines from erosion. Join our expert scientist, Marine Biologist Stephanie Wear, as we take a deep dive to learn about one of the “seven underwater wonders of the world.”
The Google Hangout is 40 minutes long which perfectly fits into class time.
Information to help teach the coral reef concepts to students
Here's the Underlying Message and objective: In the Coral Reefs, everything is interconnected—and this includes people. The Coral Reefs function like an undersea city, with every organism having an important role.
Key Concepts and Terms for Teachers
Protection and conservation
Bonus parts of this field trip: it uses the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Geography Standards.
If you're a teacher and you'd like to join this field trip, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Here are a some resources for you to use as background information for yourself or your students:
So, join us next Tuesday, May 19 for this Virtual Field trip to the Coral Reefs of Palau. Sorry, but you won't get a passport stamp for this trip. Your students will still get to see the world and that's worth the very best lesson plan.
All photos courtesy of Nature.org