The Great Barrier Reef
A Web Quest by:
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is one of the world's most diverse and unique habitats. It is an outdoor laboratory for scientists to study coral reefs and search for new medicines. In recent years however, this habitat has come under attack from a variety of environmental threats. If it is not protected, the reef as we know it may not survive much longer.
You will be assigned a group to work with. Your group's task is to research the various environmental threats of the Great Barrier Reef, and then come up with a plan of action to help protect and preserve the reef for future generations. You will then present your plan of action to the class. There are really 2 primary questions asked which you will answer through your research: "What are the threats?" and, "How can they be minimized or eliminated?"
You will use the following websites to research the environmental threats and their solutions. These are some good starter sites, but you are encouraged to branch out and include your own research using a search engine.
Site 1 | Site 2 | Site 3 | Site 4 | Site 5 | Google Search Engine
Keep in mind the two questions you are trying to answer.
Make sure everyone has a job and work together as a group.
You may prepare a visual aid for your presentation.
Keep in mind how certain policies might affect other people, for example, a ban on tourism in certain parts of the reef might cause some people to lose their jobs.
Decide whether a certain policy is worth the consequences. In some instances, increased environmental protection might not be worth the consequences. You need to set priorities as to what you want your plan of action to achieve.
In your presentation, you need to be able to justify the choices you made in your plan of action.
Your presentation will be 10 minutes long, including a couple minutes for questions.
You will be evaluated based on the following rubric:
Oral Presentation Rubric
|Oral Presentation Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Provided depth in coverage of topic. Clearly covered all points.||35
|Presentation was well planned and coherent. (Evidence of rehearsal)||10
|Presenters were models of thoughtfulness. Justified the choices made.||35
|Stayed within the time limit.||10|
|Communication Skills (eye contact, posture, clear voice, appropriate volume, transitions between speakers smooth, and all members presented)||10
|Total Possible Points||
The Great Barrier Reef is a very important ecosystem. It has valuable resources that should be preserved and studied for future generations. Who knows what great Medical or Scientific discovery we will lose if it is not protected. Conservation does more than protect an ecosystem, it protects our own future as well.
9-12 Biology, Environmental Sciece
Tennessee State Standards:
5.1 Understand the causes, environmental effects, and methods for controlling pollution.
6.0 Level 3 Indicator Develop an action plan for addressing an environmental issue and participate thoughtfully and effectively in environmental decision making.
Purpose - To gain an understanding of pollution's cause and effect. To develop critical thinking skills through decision making. To gain an understanding of the importance of conservation. To develop research skills through internet-based searches. To develop oral presentation skills.
Preceding Instruction: The teacher should first show the IMAX video The Great Barrier Reef (39 mins.) available at www.slingshotent.com . The movie should prompt interest in both the Great Barrier Reef, and conservation.
Learning Improvements: The student will learn to do research that leads to knowledge and greater intrinsic rewards. In addition, the oral presentation will reinforce what they have learned from that research.
The Science Museum of Minnesota. (2001). The Great Barrier Reef [DVD]. Burbank, CA: Slingshot Entertainment.
Tennessee Department of Education. (n.d.) Curriculum Frameworks. Retrieved September 29, 2003, from http://www.state.tn.us/education/ci/cistandards.htm
Solcomhouse. (2003). Coral Reef. Retrieved September 29,2003, from http://solcomhouse.com/coralreef.htm
World Wildlife Foundation. (2003). Great Barrier Reef Campaign. Retrieved September 29, 2003, from www.gbr.wwf.org.au/
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. (2003). The State of The Great Barrier Reef Report. Retrieved October 3, 2003, from www.gbrmpa.gov.au/corp_site/info_services/publications/sotr/intro/
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