1997 WWLPT Biology
Cycles: Reproduction & Embryological
Human Impact on the Life Cycle of Corals
Target Audience or Age Group
Teacher Instructions/Special Precautions
Materials & Equipment Needed
Background [Prior Knowledge necessary to complete activity]
The Student Role Playing Scenario
Methods of Evaluation/Assessment
Rationale/Abstract to top
Instructor's Objectives to top
A) Given the opportunity of teacher guided research, the student will demonstrate analyzation of basic coral biology/ecology and pacific culture by defending their character's interests in the role playing scenario.
B) Given the opportunity to place a senatorial vote on 5 bills, the student will demonstrate evaluation by voting for the bills in which they have decided to support.
C) Given this limited exposure to coral reefs and Pacific culture, the student will appreciate the need for reef management, the relationship between reefs and culture, and the political factors which affect coral reefs.
This module is designed to be congruent with the following National Science Education Standards:
Content Standards A, C, E and F.
Teaching Standard D.
Assessment Standard C.
Program Standards B and E.
Target Audience or Age Group to top
Notes to the Teacher: to top
Be aware that this type of class activity can be very rewarding if you are careful to prepare, manage, and reinforce the module well. The personality of some classes, students, teachers, and time of year may also have a strong impact on the lesson's effectiveness. It is recommended that the students be grouped to include several of them in each character role. The students should also be given adequate time to perform guided research in basic coral biology/ecology as well as South Pacific island culture. It is crucial that the students be given the time and guidance to develop their character.
As with many non-traditional teaching strategies, role playing may often seem to be unjustifiable time consumption in comparison to lecture. However, role playing involves each student much more directly and can promote much higher retention of content material. As such, the student's performance in the village meeting part of this module can be used in place of such traditional evaluation methods as the written test.
This scenario and its characters are fictional. Any resemblance to certain places or people (alive or dead) is entirely coincidence.
If you choose to print this web page, you will need to file/save/edit it first and change the font color to black. Otherwise, the text may not print correctly.
Materials & Equipment Needed to top
No materials are needed, but internet access as well as other references dealing with coral biology/ecology, legislative process, and pacific cultures would be very useful for a thorough and meaningful activity.
Background to top
Note: The following "background" is both the prerequisite knowledge the instructor needs to conduct the lesson, and part one of the module where the students must aquire the content necessary to conduct the role playing.
The most crucial idea to develop in this module is the interruption of the life cycle. This is best achieved using inquiry. Try this by posing the following question to your class:
Take a vote. Convince the doubters to accept that it is safe by redescribing the design of the adult coral experiment to satisfy each students challenges. Take a vote again. When you have convinced as many students as possible that the toxin is not harmful, tell them it is deadly. Have them ask "yes or no" questions until they discover the hypothesis that it involves a more vulnerable life stage than the adult (such as the larvae). From here, introduce the generalized life cycle of a coral to the class and the lesson has begun!
The extent to which you directly provide the
information on corals, their life cycles, and the impact of human
activities is flexible. A more motivated class with a solid
background should require little teacher mediated information.
Eventually the students should engage in guided research to
familiarize themselves with the central issue you will next task them
Key concepts to guide students through in their research:
With the background now in place, the lesson
may continue to the role playing scenario...
Fact Sheet: Coral Reefs
Coral Reefs: the Last Two Million Years
A Guide To Protecting Coral Reefs
The Life and Death of Coral
1997, International Thompson Publishing, Florence, Ky. Editor: Charles Birkeland.
Collaborative and Community-Based
Management of Coral Reefs: lessons from experience
1994, Kumarian Press, Inc. Connecticut ISBN: 1-565-49-032-0
The Student Role Playing Scenario to top
The Honorable Catherine Chile,
Senator and Speaker of the Legislature.
Cathy is a local woman who commands respect from her constituents by being very diplomatic and fair. She often sees both sides of an issue easily and is usually able to bring about agreement. She is particularly good at identifying key points in debate. She is often torn between the economic development that brings in revenue for the government, and the long term effects it may have on her peoples culture. She often is accompanied by her advisors.
Dr. Dale Coralhead,
Dr. Coralhead has been engaged in active research in the reproductive biology of corals. He moved to Taga 20 years ago from a prestigious urban university to enjoy the beauty of the reefs and contribute to their preservation. He is very soft spoken and kind. He is often supported by his students and colleagues in matters such as this.
Ms. Kazu Nakatomi, President and CEO of
Build and Run development corporation.
Ms. Nakatomi is an exceptional business woman who has gained her employees and competitors respect by doubling the company's size over the past few years. In recent months she has committed a significant amount of the companies money to preparing for big development contracts on Taga. She employs a sizable amount of local workers and is a member of the Taga Tourism Bureau. She rarely attends meetings without an attaché of assistants.
Mr. Todd Tanatongo, Taga resident,
traditional fisherman, and leader of the Taga Indigenous Rights
Todd is a deep feeling man. He has a large family who live in the traditional ways of the ancient Taga. He is one the few men left who still know the ancient ways of celestial navigation, outrigger construction, net fishing, and story telling. His family, as well as the TIRM have a strong belief in the spirituality of nature, and believe that this deep seated and ancient belief is being desecrated by the recent trend in development. His family and TIRM followers are outspoken and persuasive but often compromise their influence with lack of diplomacy.
Mrs. Agnes TanoTano, matriarch of a
wealthy and politically influential local family, who owns many acres
of coastal property.
Agnes and her family are of the "upper class" of Taga who are not strong in number but often get heir way through financial power. She feels more duty toward her family's future, that to that of Taga. She is also well schooled and holds a law degree from a well respected university. She
Bill 1 - To limit clearing and grading of land to the dry season (7-8 months per year).
Bill 2 - To assess substantial fines for the use of most common and inexpensive insecticides and fertilizers often used on golf courses.
Bill 3 - To place a moratorium on all commercial construction on the pristine and undeveloped lands of Southern Taga.
Bill 4 - To place a moratorium on the construction of all golf courses on Taga.
- To designate, as preserves, areas equal to approximately half
of the total coral reef area on Taga.
After the deliberations are complete and each party has been given ample opportunity to develop their arguments, the class is to meet as a legislature and vote to pass the bills into law. The Honorable Catherine Chile, Speaker of the Legislature will preside. (Taga's legislature is unicameral, having only a senate).
Methods of Evaluation/Assessment to top
It is recommended that the students be graded on the degree to which they demonstrate knowledge in the actual village meeting with respect to:
Note: This module is designed to be
congruent with National Science Education Standard C.
Extension/Reinforcement/Additional Ideas to top
Biology/Ecology concepts to connect with:
International Coral Reef Initiative
Coral Health-Related Literature
The State of the Reefs - ICRI's Major
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford
Marine Science Center: Northeastern
University of Guam Marine Laboratory
University of Hawai'i' at Hilo's Kalakaua
Marine Education Center
University of Southern Florida - Marine
References Including Web Addresses to top
Dr. Robert H. Richmond
Professor of Marine Biology
University of Guam Marine Laboratory
University of Guam Marine Laboratory
University of Guam Water and Energy Resources Institute of the Western Pacific (WERI)