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  • CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE

    OF THE MESOAMERICAN BARRIER REEF SYSTEMS

    PROJECT (MBRS)

    Belize – Guatemala – Honduras - Mexico

    TEACHERS' GUIDE FOR

    SECONDARY SCHOOLS

    Infusing the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems Themes

    Into the Secondary Schools Curricula

    Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Project Project Coordinating Unit

    Coastal Resources Multi-Complex Building Princess Margaret Drive

    Belize City, Belize PO Box 93

    May, 2003

    SAM / MBRS

  • CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF THE

    MESOAMERICAN BARRIER REEF SYSTEMS PROJECT

    (MBRS) Belize – Guatemala – Honduras - Mexico

    TEACHERS’ GUIDE FOR

    SECONDARY SCHOOLS

    Infusing the Mesoamerican Barrier

    Reef Systems Themes Into the Secondary Schools Curricula

    Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems Project Project Coordinating Unit

    Coastal Resources Multi-Complex Building Princess Margaret Drive

    Belize City, Belize Po Box. 93

    May, 2003

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    This Teachers’ Guide was prepared with the collaboration of the countries executing the MBRS Project (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico), all of whom contributed substantial resources through their institutions throughout the Guide preparation and consolidation process. Special acknowledgment is hereby given to the Ministries of Education of the region, for having provided human and material resources, without which it would have been impossible to complete the proposed tasks, especially the Official Endorsement of the infusion of the MBRS themes into the education curricula. Other institutions have also contributed data and technical information, namely: the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the Toledo Association for Sustainable Tourism and the Environment (TASTE) and the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC) in Belize; the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) in Guatemala; Dirección General de Biodiversidad (DiBio) in Honduras; Grupo AS Consultores and the Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) of the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) in Mexico. We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Rosanna Griffith Mumby, (consultant for the document preparation) Allan G. Bernardez, Yolanda Medina, Peter Mumby and Henry Milmer (for the document revision and photographs). We make special mention of Axel Sandoval, Gustavo Cabrera and Will Renan Diaz for their participation during the regional training course that was held for primary and secondary teachers in Honduras in July 2003.

    Document Adaptation and Editing

    MBRS Project Team

  • PROLOGUE

    The main objective of the MBRS Teachers’ Guide is to enable educators to take full advantage of the students’ readiness and capability to learn; to improve understanding and retention; to present complex, overwhelming problems and possible solutions to the threats facing coral reefs in more solvable, understandable pieces.

    The guide also presents students with different ways to take action to save the reefs, thereby instilling in them the understanding and confidence that they can improve the environment in which they live.

    The Teachers’ Guide is organized into sections, namely, Background Information, Lesson Plans, Resources and Annexes. The lessons plans are formatted as follows: Grade(s), Subject, Objective, Concept, Material and Procedures.

    The Background Information provides teachers of all grades with extensive information about the MBRS, so that they can effectively instruct their students and use the lesson plans. It addresses three major areas:

    1. Coral Reef Biology and Ecology describes the anatomy, reproduction and feeding behaviours of coral polyps, coral reef partner ecosystems as well as their geographic location and formation.

    2. People and Coral Reefs explains the coastal development and pollution, alternative livelihoods, Marine Protected Areas, biodiversity of the coral reef ecosystem and describes the protection and predation techniques of the myriad of marine life that makes up the coral reef food chain. This section also introduces four native coastal peoples and shows how they are taking action to protect their marine environment.

    3. Transboundary connectivity emphasizes the economic and ecological importance of coral reef resources to both humans and ecosystems. It demonstrates the marine transboundary inter-relationships, the anthropogenic threats that reefs are facing and possible solutions to these problems.

    Each lesson provides the teacher with clear educational objectives and an interdisciplinary index to relate the curriculum to pertinent subject areas, such as natural science, social studies, biology and geography. It also provides guidelines for presentation of the material, and suggestions for follow-up to and extension of the lessons.

    Additional activities and resources are at the end of the Teachers’ Guide. It is a resource section containing a glossary, bibliography, references for students, a list of coral reef-related organizations, educational merchandise, and action programs. This material supports and enhances the teachers’ ability to present information about coastal and marine resources in an efficient and thorough manner, and to expand the students' study and involvement with reefs if desired.

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Introduction 6 How to use this guide 8 MBRS Thematic Codes 9 Tables of Schools’ Curricula with Lesson links 12-17 Table of Lesson plans 19-20 Lessons Lesson 1: Chance of success 22 Lesson 2: Corals need crystal clear water to live 24 Lesson 3: Students as coral reef scientists 26 Lesson 4: Coral reefs in hot water 31 Lesson 5: Biological & physical agents of change 38 Lesson 6: Explore the coral reefs 40 Lesson 7: Build a reef 43 Lesson 8: Survival factors 49 Lesson 9: Animal population sizes 52 Lesson 10: The coral conservation game 55 Lesson 11: Products of the sea 62 Lesson 12: Food from the sea 63 Lesson 13: Fishing for the Future 65 Lesson 14: Depletion of marine resources 70 Lesson 15: Save the mangroves 72 Lesson 16: The mangrove community 74 Lesson 17: Zonation on mangrove trunks 76 Lesson 18: Seagrass turnover 78 Lesson 19: Sensational seagrass 80

  • Lesson 20: What if the reef dies 81 Lesson 21: Tree vs. Fish - a management comparison 82 Lesson 22: Design tasks for a coral reef marine reserve 84 Lesson 23: Ecological sustainable development 87 Lesson 24: Personal actions 90 Lesson 25: Green points challenge 91 Evaluation Methods 94 Glossary 96 Additional Resources 100 References 102 Annex: Official Endorsement of the MBRS Infusion Document 104

  • Teachers’ Guide for Infusing the MBRS Themes Into the Secondary School Curricula

    INTRODUCTION This guide has been prepared as part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System project Environmental Education Component. The MBRS extends some 1,000 km from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands of Honduras, including the second longest barrier reef in the world. Due to the MBRS’ uniqueness in the Western Hemisphere for its size, reef types and luxuriance of corals, the MBRS project was established. The project addresses the conservation and sustainable use of MBRS resources. This guide offers educators the opportunity to integrate coral reef education into their lessons. The guide is a compilation of lessons that help to bring the themes related to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System into the classroom. The themes, ranging from coral biology to transboundary issues, relate to the coral reefs and other relevant coastal and marine ecosystems. Knowledge of natural systems helps students understand the interconnections between all life and the way human actions affect these systems. Alternative solutions cannot be explored unless students have an understanding of the basic processes involved. It should be linked with a critical knowledge of the social systems that shape their lives. Only this combination provides an adequate basis for understanding causes, exploring alternative solutions, making decisions and taking responsible action. Learning to respond thoughtfully to issues is an important part of growing up and needs to be part of the school curriculum. The goals of Education for Sustainability are:

    to foster clear awareness of, and concern about, economic, social, political and ecological interdependence in urban and rural areas; to provide every person with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, values,

    attitudes, commitment and skills needed to protect and improve the environment; to create new patterns of behavior of individuals, groups and society as a whole

    towards the environment. The categories of Ef