Name That Coral — Make a Salt Dough Coral Reef
Learning objectives/lesson goals:
Students will learn that there are many different kinds of coral.
Students will make a salt dough coral reef.

WHOParent Volunteers, 7/8th grade students
MATERIALSName That Coral worksheet (found in the K/1 Activity Book)
Large mixing bowl
Cardboard squares
Small tree branch or twig
Tempera paint (optional)
Playdoh tools
Air Dry Clay (optional - if not making salt dough)
Web Resource

1. Explain that there are many different kinds of coral. Show pictures from the internet and discuss.
2. On the worksheet, read the descriptions of different kinds of coral, and then label the pictures with the correct names.

Make a Salt Dough Coral Reef

1. Make a large batch of salt dough. (This can be made ahead of time) In a large mixing bowl, mix 4 cups of flour with 1 cup of salt. Add 1 ½ cups warm water and knead until the mixture forms a pastry-like dough. (***we made 4 batches for 48 students - 1 batch per 12 students)
2. Have students get a small piece of clay and stick it on a cardboard square. This will act as the base.
3. Use small pieces of salt dough to cover the twigs, leaving one end uncovered.
4. Poke the uncovered end of the twig into the clay.
5. Repeat covering as many twigs as students would like. Cover the clay base with salt dough.
6. If using Air Dry Clay, have students form their dough into different shapes that resemble different coral. Students may use Playdoh tools as needed.
7. Let dry for approximately three or four days. Have the students paint their corals with tempera paint. Or leave them unpainted to resemble “bleached coral”.
Differentiation: how will you provide support for different learning abilities? For a complete list click here
Directions given in multiple ways (visual, auditory)
Give a list of information instead of relying on memory or note taking
Provide a summary of information or story
List of vocabulary words given
Use visuals/diagrams liberally
Use graphic organizers
Other: _________________________________________
Number and sequence steps and directions
Allow movement space
Give think time before asking for responses to a question
Check in for understanding of directions
Clear indication of expectations for behavior or work both written and given orally
Break tasks into chunks
Buddy system
NGSS Alignment
Full, more detailed NGSS Alignment
Full, more detailed outline of standards & progressions → NGSS Progressions
Earth ScienceLife Science
LS1.A Structure and function
LS1.B Growth and development of organisms
LS2.C - Ecosystem dynamics, functioning & resilience
LS2.D Social interactions and group behavior
Physical Science
PS1.A Structure of matter
Notes, Photos & other resources: