Associated Shape of Life Content
Students explore the origins of muscles, nerves, and animal adaptions through of study of the fascinating phylum Cnidaria.
A list of questions about the characteristics of Cnidarians to use after viewing the video Cnidarians: Life On the Move.
Shape of Life Cnidarians Worksheet. Students make sketches and write short answers to questions about the amazing world of cnidarians. This worksheet was created by Rachel Miller from Science From Scratch.
A Powerpoint with questions to answer while watching the video Cnidarians: Life on the Move.
Millions of years ago, unlikely pioneers sparked a revolution. Cnidarians set animal life in motion. So much of what we take for granted today began with Cnidarians.
Scientists think that cnidarians were the first animals to have muscles and nerves to produce behavior.
Anemones provide homes for many kinds of animals; perhaps the most well-known are clownfish also called anemone fish (remember Nemo?) on tropical reefs. Read about the relationship between sea anemones and clownfish: Anemone and Clownfish and from Tree of Life: "An Exploration of the Clownfish." This relationship is called mutualism where both organisms benefit from the relationship.
Almost everyone knows that coral reef ecosystems host a rich diversity of life. Read about the importance of coral reefs to people.
Coral bleaching is caused by higher ocean temperatures, which starve the coral reefs of their main food source, the symbiotic algae that live in their tissues
Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect, found his inspirations from nature. From trees to light to whale bones, Gaudi used solutions from nature for structural support or decoration. He is not unique in using natural engineering to solve problems in our daily lives. In this lesson, we will investigate how, through the process of evolution, animals have solved their engineering problems and how people have mimicked those natural solutions.
After note taking during the phyla episodes of the shapeoflife.org, student pairs will randomly pick an invertebrate from the hat. After doing more in-depth research on their chosen invertebrate, student pairs will design and create a flyer that will promote the invertebrate’s special abilities. Furthermore, the students will find at least one video clip of their invertebrate from the shapeoflife.org website to present to the class as evidence of their claims. Finally the student pair will argue why their invertebrate should be crowned the “World’s Most Awesome Invertebrate.”
In this lesson students engage in the practice of science by observing behaviors using Shape of Life videos with the audio and closed captioning turned off.
Worldwide coral reefs are suffering from the impacts of climate change. Around the world researchers are pioneering ways to protect and restore coral reefs that have already bleached. Between these efforts and the amazing capacity for corals to adapt to healthier environments, there seems to be some hope.
Corals can be attached to reefs piece by piece with cement, zip ties, and nails. (Photo: Reef Resilience Network)
Look carefully at these images.
They almost look real. But they are actually astounding glass marine creatures created by the father and son artists/naturalists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Every time I look at one I am awe struck by the extreme detail. How could they have done this?
In this activity students explore how animals are classified. For centuries taxonomists have been classifying the diversity of animal life based on observations and measurements of animals’ body plans. And now, with DNA sequencing, scientists have for the most part confirmed the work of earlier taxonomists. Students will learn the characteristics that define five of the major invertebrate phyla by watching videos, reading and sorting animal cards. The phyla are: Cnidarians, Annelids, Arthropods, Molluscs, and Echinoderms.
These are signs of jelly blooms – when huge numbers of jellies, often in the millions, appear seemingly out of nowhere. There’s a perception that there are more jellies and jelly blooms in the ocean now. But, is that true?