Subject: Science

Grade Level: K-12

Time: 45 minutes

Lesson Title: The Nassau Grouper and Human Impact

Objective: Students will be able to state two adverse impacts upon the Nassau Grouper caused by humans, and present corrective measures for each.

Background:  Students would have obtained prior information about the Nassau Grouper in previous lessons.  The life-cycle and other particulars were covered.

Content:  The Nassau Grouper seriously faces possible extinction or endangerment in the Bahamas. The two main factors contributing to the status are:

1. Overfishing

2. Destruction or alteration of habit

Measures should be enforced to limit the catch of the Nassau Grouper.  Sustained efforts should be made to keep intact the various habitats of the Nassau Grouper.

Activity:  Students will be directed to dramatize what happens when over-fishing and habitat limitations are imposed upon the Nassau Grouper. An adaptation of “musical chairs” will be enacted. For example, instead of each chair in the row being placed in the counter-face position, a pair of chairs will be arranged together. Four pairs of chairs are suggested, with five pairs of students; each with one boy and girl (as groupers)

Three other students will take their role as “fishers.”  All participants will be placed in their designated positions, and the song “Catch the Grouper” (as in “Catch the Crab”) will be sung by the teacher and remaining students. Both “Groupers” must be correctly seated in each round, when given the visual signal by the teacher, or they would become disqualified.

Conclusion/Assessment: Students will be asked to explain the analogy of the activity to the reality of how over-fishing and habitat destruction correspond to the survival of the Nassau Grouper. In addition to students retelling the human factors threatening the species, students will suggest ways of ensuring the conservation of the Nassau Grouper.

Subject:  Science                               

Grade Level:  3                                   

Time:  60 minutes

Lesson Title:  Mangrove Ecosystems

Lesson Purpose/Rationale:  To promote the awareness that mangrove ecosystems serve as nurseries for young fish and as homes to many animals such as crabs, shellfish, lobsters, and many other aquatic animals. To encourage the idea that wetlands need to be protected and preserved for future generations

Objectives:  At the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and name the four  types of mangroves
  2. Identify organisms that live in these ecosystems
  3. Tell how organisms depend on each other and benefit from the wetland.

Resources: White plastic shower curtain, buckets of water/mud from a wetland, mangrove type chart, samples of leaves, fruit and flowers from mangroves, magnifying glasses, copies of marsh monster ID (Bahamas National Trust), petri dishes,

References: Wondrous West Indian Wetlands p 41, Grade 3 Primary Science Curriculum Guidelines

Prior Knowledge: Students would have learned about the four types of mangroves: red, black, white & buttonwood, they have also visited a wetland and collected water including some mud from the creek bed.


Introduction: The teacher will encourage the students to sing the song Bahamian mangroves, and will then review the four types of mangroves.

Development:  The teacher will ask the students to state where local mangroves are located and will also lead a discussion about the importance of mangrove ecosystems to the Bahamian community. They would also discuss what would happen if they were destroyed.

The teacher will then encourage the students to name organisms that live in the mangrove, explain how they depend on each other for food and how they depend on the mangrove plants for food and shelter.

The class will then make a pond by pouring the wetland water collected earlier into plastic sheeting (shower curtain). The students will collect samples of organisms present using pipettes and placing them in petri dishes.  Students will observe and identify organisms using a magnifying glass and the marsh monster ID card.  They students may attempt to draw and label their organisms.

Assessment: Students will share with the class what they have observed, describe how their organism moves and explain how it might be important in mangrove ecosystems.

Extension activities: Make a model of a mangrove plant or ecosystem. Draw pictures of organisms found in a wetland and use these to create food chains or webs.

Subject:  Biology                                  

Grade Level:  10                                 

Time:  60 minutes 

Lesson Title:  The Coral Reef

Lesson Purpose/Rationale:

Coral reefs are an important source of food for marine life as well as humans. They are economically important to the Bahamas and provide storm protection, support the tourism sector, and provide recreation for Bahamians.


At the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

1.  Discuss the economic importance of the coral reef

2.  Discuss the impact of nature and human activity on the reef


Students will visit this website before class, Coral reef fact sheet.


Introduction: Students will be placed into small groups to read a selected article on threats to reef or declining fisheries and asked to express their opinions about what they read. They will then compare their articles to what is happening in The Bahamas


Students will be placed in small groups. Each group will be given a coral reef fact sheet. They will be required to write a letter to their Member of Parliament to convince him/her that our reefs should be protected. Each group will address the economic importance, the effects of man and nature or threats to the reef. Each group will share their letters with the class for discussion.


Student letters will be evaluated as they are read.

Extension Activities

Students will send the letters to their MP as well as have them published in the daily newspaper. Or students can design a flyer for distribution with the school community.