Home > Learning About Reefs > Educational Activities and Resources


MacGillivray Freeman Films strongly believes in the value of an education program relating to Coral Reef Adventure. As with all of our films, we have developed an extensive "Teacher's Guide" containing classroom activities you can participate in before or after seeing the film.

Please contact the giant screen theatre closest to you to learn if Coral Reef Adventure can be screened for your special group or field trip. You can find a listing of theatres exhibiting the film under "Theatre Listings." We encourage you to download this Teacher's Guide using Adobe Acrobat software available free of charge by clicking here.



Coral reefs throughout the world provide food and shelter for thousands of species of fish and marine organisms and provide food and income for millions of people. They are also a promising source of new medicines. Each one of us has the ability to make responsible choices to help the world’s reefs. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, your actions still affect our marine environment. We can all make a difference. Here are five things you can do:

Think Globally and Act Locally

For some simple ways each of us can get involved to help save coral reefs, check out the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago’s list of “10 Things You Can Do to Protect Aquatic Environments” at http://www.sheddaquarium.org/ (Click “conservation” from the main menu)

Don’t Waste

Every year, thousands of marine animals die from man-made trash that ends up in the world’s oceans. Try some of these suggestions to do your part to keep our oceans clean:
1. Reduce, reuse and recycle at home, work and school.
2. Buy products made from recycled materials and that have little or no packaging.
3. Keep storm drains clean – remember they drain to watersheds, beaches and rivers.
4. Recycle used motor oil.
5. Reduce carbon dioxide in the air by planting trees and driving fuel- efficient cars.

Education Helps

The more you know, the more you can help coral reefs. Read newspapers, magazine articles and the many web resources to stay on top of marine issues and be aware of the many threats to marine life. Contact your government representative to vote responsibly on conservation and pollution issues.

Be a Conscious Consumer

When you eat seafood, choose only seafood that is not endangered. View the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Guide.

Get your Feet Wet as a member of the Reef Check Team

Become part of a valuable team of coral reef researchers as you collect data on the health of coral reefs around the world. For more information on how to get involved, visit their website at http://www.reefcheck.org/

Top of Page



Children’s Books

Nancy White and Joanna Cole
Magic School Bus Takes A Dive: A Book About Coral Reefs 1998: Scholastic Productions. (Magic School Bus Series).
Readers accompany Ms Frizzle’s class as they investigate a coral reef and learn about symbiotic relationships within the marine habitat.

Bob Barner Fish Wish 2001: Holiday House, Inc.
After a trip to the aquarium, a little boy imagines what it would be like if he were a fish. This book contains a great deal of information about the habitat of a coral reef, matching text and colorful illustrations.
Allan Sheather and Kim Michelle Toft (Illustrator) One Less Fish 1998: Charlesbridge Publishing.
A counting book with a conservationist message—each page introduces a different species of fish that lives in the Great Barrier Reef.

Sylvia A. Earle Hello, Fish! Visiting the Coral Reef 2001: National Geographic Society
A photographic essay for children, this book provides simple text and wonderful photos of life in a coral reef.

Adolescent/Young Adult Books

Norbert Wu A City Under the Sea 1996: Simon & Schuster Children’s
A sea turtle swims through a coral reef environment to lay eggs on a beach. The book follows her voyage, describing the marine life and sights that she passes on the way.

Rebecca L. Johnson The Great Barrier Reef: A Living Laboratory 1991: Lerner Publishing Group,
Readers are introduced to the Great Barrier Reef from the perspective of the scientists who are investigating a wide variety of questions related to the reef.

David Gulko Hawaiian Coral Reef Ecology 1999: Mutual Publishing
This comprehensive and visually engaging book offers a wealth of information that is well explained through illustrations. The book is divided into three sections: corals as organisms, corals as condos and coral reefs as ecosystems.
Top of Page

Adult Books

Jack Stephens Living Mirrors: A Coral Reef Adventure 2002: Umbrage Editions,
ISBN # 1-884167-26-8
The film’s companion book is a fully-illustrated fine art book with spectacular photographs from the film and a fascinating story about coral reefs and the team who captured their beauty and mystery on film. Appropriate for all ages.

Corinna Ravilious and Edmund P. Green World Atlas of Coral Reefs 2002: United Nations
This collection of maps, illustrations, and images provides a comprehensive description of the status of coral reefs around the world.

Osha Gray Davidson The Enchanted Braid: Coming to Terms with Nature on the Coral Reef 1998: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
This book takes a historical as well as a conservationist perspective on the importance of coral reefs and the imminent danger to these fragile ecosystems.

Howard and Michele Hall Secrets of the Ocean Realm 1997: Carroll & Graf
A 160 page hard cover book illustrated with over 140 color images and text that covers Michele and Howard Hall’s diving experiences over the last 30 years.

Roger Steene Coral Seas 1998: Firefly Books LTD.
This is a photographic essay produced by an underwater photographer who documents a wide range of coral reefs and marine life that make their home in the reef. A number of previously unknown species are presented.

Charles Birkeland (editor) Life and Death of Coral Reefs 1997: Kluwer Academic Publishers
This comprehensive book includes eighteen chapters written by a range of experts from around the world. Chapters focus on issues such as symbiotic relationships, diseases of coral reefs, over exploitation of fish, natural and human caused disturbances that affect the coral reef community, reef geography and coral reef management.

Field Guides

Paul Humann, Ned Deloach Reef Coral Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas
Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas
2002: New World Publications
These reef identification guides have full color pictures for each species as well as detailed descriptions of defining characteristics.

Paul Humann (with photographers Howard Hall & Neil McDaniel). Coastal Fish Identification: California to Alaska 1996: New World Publications
This book is a valuable resource for divers with superb color photographs and an appealing format.

John Randall, Gerald Allen, Roger Steene Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea 1997: University of Hawaii Press
This is a useful book with excellent photos to help identify a broad range of fishes found in the Pacific Ocean.



Visit the Sydney Aquarium for numerous coral reef curriculum-based education
kits appropriate for all ages. http://sydneyaquarium.myfun.com.au/Schools-and-Education/Study-Kit-Downloads.htm

Browse the "Stacks" at the New Coral Reef Education Library This new online library connects provides educators around the world with the tools they need to raise public awareness of coral reefs. As part of the International Coral Reef Information Network (ICRIN) managed by CORAL, the Library lists over 500 posters, booklets and videos about coral reefs. In the library you'll find CORAL's publications, such as the Coral Friendly Guidelines, but as well as publications from hundreds of other organizations around the world. Browse the Library: http://www.coral.org/resources/education-materials

The International Coral Reef Information Network (ICRIN) http://www.coralreef.org/ which also link to teacher's resources and other basic info: http://www.coralreef.org/tools/teachers.html

© Copyright 2003 MacGillivray Freeman Films
IMAX® and IMAX® experience are registered trademarks of Imax Corporation
"Great Adventure Films" is a registered trademark of MacGillivray Freeman Films, Inc.