Free Resources to Help Kids Learn About Coral Reefs

Published:
February 11, 2021

Contributor:
Jeannette Tuionetoa

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

The ocean is such a mysterious and majestic wonder of our world. If you are studying the ocean blue in your homeschool, take some time to explore these free resources to help kids learn about coral reefs.

Free Resources to Help Kids Learn About Coral Reefs text with image example

Of course, I wasn’t familiar with coral reefs in the cold weather state where I grew up without a coral reef in sight.

Yet, moving to an island surrounded by a coral reef has sparked an interest in my children to learn more about the ocean and what is in it.

My daughter aspires to be a marine biologist, so she loves any and every lesson that has anything to do with the ocean.

She loves snorkeling, and her favorite place to snorkel is to one of the reefs by a friend’s resort during low tide. Coral reefs have the most beautiful and colorful fish I have ever seen – not that I explore very often.

It truly is breathtaking to see all the living things that make up the coral reef biome.

Coral reefs are small marine biomes, and only about 25% of all marine species live there. Coral reefs look like rocks but are actually living organisms called polyps.

As the polyps die, they become hard and new ones grow. This is how reefs grow.

Coral reefs need warm and shallow waters in order to grow. Most of them in the world are located in Southeast Asia and Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef

We live in the Pacific Ocean, a part of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) which includes Australia. Australia is home to the world’s largest coral reef – The Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and stretches a whopping 2,600 miles.

It also just so happens to be the infamous setting of Finding Nemo where the clownfish Marlin and Nemo lived.

Although your kids may think that Finding Nemo is the coolest thing about the Great Barrier Reef, one look at the reef and you (and them) will see that it is so much more.

This majestic landform is truly one of the world’s most extraordinary natural wonders. Do you know that it is the only living organism that can actually be spotted from space?

Recommended Resource: Ocean Notebook – Companion to Ocean Anatomy by Julia Rothman

In the Ocean Notebook, students will use a combination of written narration, drawing, and labeling alongside Ocean Anatomy by Julia Rothman to learn all about life in the ocean, layers of the ocean, the ocean floor, coral reefs, tide pools, and much more.

Ocean Anatomy book overlapping the Ocean Notebook book on top of a marble background with seashells scattered

Here are some resources for your homeschoolers that tell more about the Great Barrier Reef:

Resources for Learning About Australia

Great Barrier Reef | Kid Cyber

Great Barrier Reef Facts for Kids | Great Barrier Reef

Why the Great Barrier Reef Should be on Everyone’s Bucket List | Telegraph.co.uk

Coral reefs have a specific role in our world aside from being great tourist attractions and beautiful to the eye.

Coral reefs provide food from fishing, protection from coastline erosion, and have also been known to contain medical discoveries for cancer medicines. (Creation is truly incredible!)

Explore these free resources to help kids learn about coral reefs in your homeschool:

Coral Reef FREE Unit Study and Lapbook | Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Free Coral Reef Unit Study & Lapbook text and image example

FREE: Coral Reef Activities – 1 Coloring Page | The Harstad Collection

Coral Reefs | PBS LearningMedia

NOAA’s Coral Reef Educational Resources | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Coral Reef Facts | USGS.gov

Science for Kids: Coral Reef Biome | Ducksters

Coral Reefs and Corals | Smithsonian Ocean

Spotlight: Coral Reefs | KIDS DISCOVER

Coral Reef Facts for Kids | Kids.Kiddle

18 Ways to Teach Kids about Coral Reefs | Kid World Citizen

Coral Reef Facts for Kids – Coral Polyps | DK Find Out

20 Coral Reef Facts for Kids | Facts Just for Kids

Coral Reefs | Raz-Kids

Learn about animals of the coral reef:

FREE Animals of the Coral Reefs Printables

Free Animals of the Coral Reefs Printables text with image background of coral underwater

Animal Habitats: The Reef FREE Download | Tech Teacher Pto3

Montessori-Inspired Coral Reef Toob 3-Part Cards | Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids

Activities to help kids learn about coral reefs:

Coral Reef Activities for Preschoolers and Kindergarten | Natural Beach Living

Coral Reef Activities for Preschoolers and Kindergarten with free Ocean Theme Printables, Coral Reef Craft Ideas and Ocean Theme Activities for Kids, Plus a Hands on learning Ocean Playdough Activity

Fun Coral Reef Sensory Play | Fantastic, Fun and Learning

Coral Reef Lesson-Build Your Own Diorama | Choose Joy Homeschool

FREEBIE!! Writing Paper CORAL REEF TROPICAL FISH Color and Black/White | Science by Sinai

Exploring (and Making) a Coral Reef | Deceptively Educational

Coral Reef Food Web Activity | Exploring Nature

Cool Coral Reef Habitat Diorama | First Palette

Coral reef arts and crafts:

Ocean Coral Blow Painting Summer Kids Art Project | WooJr!

Coral Reef Art Project | Primary Theme Park

Cool Coral Reef Crafts | The Crafty Classroom

How to Make a Clay Coral Reef | Artful Parent

Coffee Filter Coral Reef | Sticka’s Kids

Coral Reef Play Dough Activity | Fantastic Fun & Learning

Coral Reef Playdough

Diving Enjoy Viewing Coral Reef Fish Coloring Pages | Kids Play Color

Coral Reef Coloring Page | Enchanted Learning

Pipe Cleaner Coral Reef Craft for Kids | Powerful Mothering

Preservation of coral around the world:

Coral Oceans FREE Lesson – Human Impact on the Reef | Sustainable Learning

Educational Materials | Reef Relief

Coral Reef Educational Activities | Coral Restoration Foundation

Coral Bleaching | NASA Climate Kids

Videos all about coral reefs:

Note to parents: some videos may include mention of evolution, so please review them before sharing with your children. If you’d like to learn more about the scientific evidence of a young Earth, please explore these Free Young Earth Resources and these Free Resources to Teach Creation Science.

Coral Reefs for Kids | Clarendon Learning

Learning About Coral Reef for Kids | Exploring the Coral Reef

(On Netflix) Chasing Coral | Netflix

Exploring the Coral Reef: Learn about Oceans for Kids | FreeSchool

Great Barrier Reef Australia – Coral Reef Facts | Educational Videos by Mocomi Kids

We can’t talk about coral reefs without mentioning the threats to their survival. Just like all other aspects of our environment, many times humans have negative impacts on the ecosystem of a coral reef.

The impacts include our land use (and misuse) of the coastal areas and fertilizers that harm the ecosystem balance.

It is always beneficial for us to teach our children how, as humans, we can do better when it comes to our environment.

Learn more about healthy coral reefs and preservation with the resources below:

Coral Oceans FREE Lesson – Human Impact on the Reef | Sustainable Learning

Educational Materials | Reef Relief

Coral Reef Educational Activities | Coral Restoration Foundation

Coral Bleaching | NASA Climate Kids

Unfortunately, the coral reefs grow very slow (larger ones are just 1-2 cm per year), and they are disappearing faster than they are growing. Let us share with our kids just how we can take steps to preserve them and appreciate them.

Free Animals of the Coral Reefs Printables text with image background of coral underwater

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