For Teachers

A woman wearing a paper scuba mask over her face while standing in a tunnel through an aquarium with a bunch of other adults.
A man to her right has a paper scuba mask pushed up on his forehead.
Teachers practice reef fish identification in an aquarium as part of a sanctuary workshop. (Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)

Bring ocean learning to life in your classroom through curriculum, lessons, activities, posters and more, all focused on Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. From science and math to geography and art, we've got something for every age level.

Curriculum

Common Octopus curled up in a crevice on the reef

Octopus Adaptations

Grades 3-5

A 5E curriculum that takes elementary students through a variety of exploratory activities to learn about adaptations of the octopus. For video footage of an octopus on the reef, visit our Invertebrate Videos page. (1.3MB)

Curriculum Handouts (193kb pdf)

A Spanish Hogfish showing off its purple and yellow coloration

Fish Fun!

Grades 3-5

A 5E curriculum that teaches elementary students how three different fish speciess are adapted for different feeding styles. Includes images of Spanish Hogfish, Marbled Grouper and Goldentail Moray Eel. (1.2MB)

For more images of fish from the sanctuary, please visit our Bony Fish Species page.

Diver using a t-frame camera mount to photograph a station on the reef

Reef Monitoring

Grades 6-12

A 5E curriculum that teaches students about the challenges of reef monitoroing and tests their observation skills. Students examine actual reef monitoring images for changes over time in a reef habitat.

Stetson Bank Monitoring Images

East Flower Garden Bank Monitoring Images

West Flower Garden Bank Monitoring Images


Lessons

An index finger pointing to a tiny brain coral colony about 1 inch across

Coral Construction

Grades 4-8

Students model the beginnings of reef formation and the challenges of coral polyp settlement in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. (2.7MB)

This lesson was developed in collaboration with Immersion Presents for the Secrets of the Gulf Expedition.

Boulder of Great Star Coral made up of five different colonies fitted together like puzzle pieces

Coral Constructors

Grades 3-12

Students explore the diversity of coral shapes using Lego building bricks. A compiled Lego reef helps them discover the impacts of storm action on different colonies within the reef. (431kb)

Coral Shape Images (1MB)

This lesson was originally developed by Shedd Aquarium and adapted with their permission.

Hole left in a coral colony after a core sample was taken

Coral Cores: Ocean Timelines

Grades 6-12

Students discover how corals create their calcium carbonate skeletons and what those layers of growth can tell us. Lesson Includes x-ray images of actual coral cores taken from the sanctuary. (6MB)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Coral Cores page.


A Great Star Coral releasing spawn into the water at night

Coral Spawning Globe

Grades 5-8

Students learn about coral reproduction and model mass coral spawning on the reef by building a snow globe. (303kb)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Coral Spawning page.

Close up image of coral polyps living in a colony

Coral Up Close

Grades 3-12

Students explore the anataomy of a coral polyp and how it fits into a colony by modeling coral polyps using their hands. Lesson includes a simulation of coral feeding techniques. (382kb)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Coral Basics page.

This lesson was originally developed by Shedd Aquarium and adapted with their permission.

Looking up at the belly of a manta ray swimming beneath the shadow of a boat at the surface

Manta Mysteries

Grades 4-8

Students explore the challenges of identifying and tracking manta rays through role playing activities. (2.8MB)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Manta Catalog page.

This lesson was developed in collaboration with Immersion Presents for the Secrets of the Gulf Expedition.


A reef mural made of over 100 individually painted squares

Paint a Reef Mural

Grades K-8

Students identify species of coral reef animals and their preferred habitat niches then share that knowlege by painting a mural. (2.1MB)

Species Guide (2.5MB)

Painting Templates (14.5MB)

Artist List (54kb)

Mural Frame Construction (149kb)

Colorful bits of plastic mixed in with natural flotsam on a beach

Plastics, Plastics Everywhere!

Grades 4-8

Students explore how plastics affect the ocean environment and the impact that they and their families have on the amount of plastic bags used each day, week and year. (194kb)

For more information on this topic, please visit our What You Can Do page.


Activities

Two nurse sharks resting on top of coral heads on the reef

Coral Crossword Puzzle

Grades 5-12

Students review coral reef vocabulary and knowledge by answering 22 clues about Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. (220kb)

Two groupers facing each other above the reef with a school of smaller fish swimming in the background

Coral Word Search

Grades 5-12

Students coral reef vocabulary by searhcing a letter grid for 32 words, from Algae to Zooxanthellae. (1.5MB)

Collage of animals found in the shallow reefs of FGBNMS

Critter Collage

Grades K-12

Students identify animals seen in the shallower parts of the sanctuary. Attached key provides a brief description of each animal. (4.7MB)

To learn more about species in the sanctuary, please visit our Species List page.


Collage of plants and animals found in the deep reefs of FGBNMS

Critter Collage II

Grades K-12

Students identify animals seen in the deeper parts of the sanctuary. Attached key provides a brief description of each animal/plant. (1.7MB)

To learn more about species in the sanctuary, please visit our Species List page.

A creolfish in blotchy coloration resting on the reef at night

Day/Night Wheel

Grades K-2

Students construct a paper wheel that illustrates which animals are active on the reef during the day and which are active at night. (1.9MB)

Map showing the Gulf of Mexico watershed spread across the central part of North American and part of Cuba

Gulf of Mexico Watershed

Grades 4-6

Students identify and label the United States found within the Gulf of Mexico watershed. (878kb)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Natural Setting page.


Black & white line drawing of reef creatures within a circle with water droplets splashing out the top

Reef Scene Coloring Page

Grades K-12

Students color a manta ray, hammerhead sharks, a sea turtle and other popular animals of the sanctuary. How many animals can they find and identify? (217kb)

To learn more about species in the sanctuary, please visit our Species List page.

Collage of pictures showing alphabet letter shapes in sanctuary images

Sanctuary Alphabet

Grades 3-12

Students search for each alphabet letter shape, from A to Z, within a collage of images from the sanctuary. (8.5MB)

Black & white drawing of a splitting coral polyp

Splitting Polyp Coloring Page

Grades K-12

Students color a coral polyp that is splitting to become two polyps in the process of asexual reproduction. (213kb)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Coral Spawning page.


A Goldentail Moray eel coming out from behind some coral on the reef.

Zooxanthellae Words

Grades 6-12

Students create as many words as possible using only the letters from the word "Zooxanthellae." (77kb)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Coral Basics page.


Holiday Fun

A pyramid of images with 12 at the bottom, then 11 above and so on up to one on top.
Each layer of images shows a different sanctuary species to go with a modified
12 days of Christmas concept listed next to each layer.

12 Days of Fishmas

A colorful pyramid of sanctuary sea creatures set to the 12 Days of Christmas song, from 12 Drums a-Drumming to a Parrotfish Under the Sea. (376kb)

To learn more about species in the sanctuary, please visit our Species List page.

A trio of beribboned gift boxes with coral spawning,
a queen angelfish and Christmas tree worms pictured along
with a Happy Holidays message

Gifts of the Season

A trio of colorful gifts highlighting the sanctuary's holiday specialties: snow (coral spawning), angels (angelfish) and Christmas trees (worms). (658kb)

To learn more about species in the sanctuary, please visit our Species List page.

A candy corn picture with each color replaced by part of a sanctuary creature iamge in the matching color, 
with a Happy Halloween message.

Halloween Treat

A fun piece for Halloween. See if you can identify the animal images that make up this Candy Corn treat. Need help? Clue 1, Clue 2, Clue 3. (745kb)

To learn more about species in the sanctuary, please visit our Species List page.


A poinsettia image with some of the red bract and green leaf parts
replaced by sanctuary creature/plant images of the same colors,
with a Happy Holidays message.

Poinsettia Power

A holiday greeting with a biological twist. The flower petals (bracts), leaves and center were created from images of sanctuary wildlife. A key is provided.

To learn more about species in the sanctuary, please visit our Species List page.


Posters

Top of a poster titled 20 Things We've Learned About
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Includes photos of a Marbled Grouper and a Mardi Gras Wrasse.

20 Things Learned Poster Series

Original size: 24" x 36"

This group of six colorful posters features highlights of scientific accomplishments in and around the sanctuary during its first 20 years, 1992-2012. (99MB)

Poster with a large photo of lacy green algae in the middle
and a description of the algae and the location it was observed underneath

Deep Reef Algae Poster

Original size: 25" x 19"

This poster features a photo captured by ROV camera at 170 feet deep on West Flower Garden Bank. A description of FGBNMS is included underneath. (5.2MB)

Poster with a large photo of pink, white and purple anemone in the middle
and a description of the anemone and the location it was observed underneath

Deep Reef Anemone Poster

Original size: 25" x 19"

This poster features a photo captured by ROV camera at 373 feet deep on Horseshoe Bank. A description of FGBNMS is included underneath. (6.5MB)


Poster with a large photo of bright red crinoid perched on white corals in the middle
and a description of the crinoid and the location it was observed underneath

Deep Reef Crinoid Poster

Original size: 25" x 19"

This poster features a photo captured by ROV camera at 353 feet deep on West Flower Garden Bank. A description of FGBNMS is included underneath. (7.3MB)

Poster with a large photo of small brown octopus in the middle
and a description of the octopus and the location it was observed underneath

Deep Reef Octopus Poster

Original size: 25" x 19"

This poster features a photo captured by ROV camera at 358 feet deep on West Flower Garden Bank. A description of FGBNMS is included underneath. (4.7MB)

Poster with a large photo of pink and orange roughtongue bass in the middle
and a description of the bass and the location it was observed underneath

Deep Reef Roughtongue Bass Poster

Original size: 25" x 19"

This poster features a photo captured by ROV camera at 264 feet deep on West Flower Garden Bank. A description of FGBNMS is included underneath. (6MB)


Poster with a large photo collage of deep reef plants and animals in the middle
and a description of their habitats underneath

Deep Reef Collage Poster

Original size: 25" x 19"

This poster features a collage of photos captured by ROV camera in the deeper areas of the sanctuary and its surroundings. A description of FGBNMS is included underneath. (7.3MB)

Stop the Invasion! Poster

Original size: 19" x 27"

A call to action on behalf of reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico, this poster explains the invasive lionfish problem and encourages action. Pictured within the lionfish outline are images of species being eaten by lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico. (1.8MB)

Red Lionfish Poster

Original Size: 24" x 36"

This poster from The Nature Conservancy and its partners focuses on the threats posed by invasive lionfish in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. (86.4MB)


Treasures of the Flower Garden Banks Banner

Original Size: 31" x 82"

This elongated banner highlights some of the notable features of FGBNMS amid clusters of cascading gold coins, with a background reef image. (17.4MB)


Other Resources

Top part of the front page of the FGBNMS Fact Sheet

FGBNMS Fact Sheet

A full-color, 2-sided fact sheet that includes information about the sanctuary's location, habitats, flora and fauna, regional connections, and more. Perfect for science lessons, research projects, and even non-fiction reading practice. (446kb)

Cross-section drawing of a coral polyp with parts labeled

Anatomy of a Coral Polyp

A full-color illustration of coral polyp anatomy, adapted from the NOS Coral Discovery Kit to use when teaching about coral structure. (745kb)

For more information on this topic, please visit our Coral Basics page.

A diver scooping up a sediment sample from a sand flat in the sanctuary

Gulf Oil Spill

Information on how the sanctuary responded to the Gulf oil spill in 2010, as well as links to a variety of resources for teaching about oil spills.


A small group of dolphins swimming underwater

National Marine Sanctuaries

Learn about all of our National Marine Sanctuaries, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Three teachers looking at a quadrat along a 
transect on a beach

National Marine Sanctuaries For Teachers

Teacher resources and training opportunties as well as curriculum, lesson plans and activities from across the sanctuary system.

Yellow and orange brittlestars found during
an ROV exploration

Ocean Explorer

Follow current expeditions, see images of the latest discoveries, read daily logs from scientists, download supporting curriculum and even Ask an Explorer questions via email.


Cover image of activity book showing wavy layers with
a satellite, a space shuttle, a tornado, a heron in a marsh,
an orca, sea turlte and fish, and a submersible

Discover Your World with NOAA

An activity book designed to show how NOAA helps us to explore, understand and protect our Earth. (123MB)

This book was developed for NOAA's Celebration of 200 years of Science, Service, and Stewardship.

The words Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts of Ocean Sciences for Learners of All Ages
on a background of an ocean scene with a manta ray, colorful fish, a sea turlte and a submersible.

Ocean Literacy

A guide to incorporating ocean concepts into everyday teaching. Ocean Literacy means understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. There are 7 principles of Ocean Literacy — ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean. 

Front and back sides of the Sanctuary Bookmark showing coral and fish images, FGBNMS and NOAA logos
and sanctuary web, Facebook and Twitter addresses

Sanctuary Bookmarks

Colorful 2-sided bookmarks that let your students know FGBNMS is home to beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish. They also provide sanctuary website, Facebook and Twitter addresses for continued learning.

Classroom sets of bookmarks are available by emailing flowergarden@noaa.gov. Be sure to specify the quantity you need and a physical mailing address.