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Mike Tuke’s

A = activity, D = demonstration, E = experiment, Pa = paper exercise,TE = thought experiment. Should be done as I = individual, P = pair, G = group. min = minutes. F = further information.
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Corals Model  D A model of a rugose coral made of cardboard with each type of part coloured differently so students can see the septa, tabulae, dissepiments and columella. Student model A P F 10 min Students are provided with a plastic cup and pieces of coloured card cut to the shape of the septa, tabulae and dissepiments.  They assemble these to make a simple model of a coral. Coral engineering D This model is to explain the purpose of the tabulae, septa and dissepiments.  A model of a tabulate coralite with just tabulae for the polyp to sit on is first shown to the class and the ease with which it can be deformed. The model is made from strips of card held together with split pins as in the photo. Diagonals representing the dissepiments are added and the extra strength demonstrated.  To show the use of septa take a ring cut from the sides of a plastic container such as a large yoghurt pot.  It deforms easily. If cardboard strips are arranged radially in it, it is much stiffer.  The strengthening given by the septa and dissepiments was particularly important for solitary corals. Acetate Peels  A P F 15 min Corals are very good for making acetate peels. The pattern of the internal structure is transferred to the acetate (= overhead transparency) and can then be easily examined. Identification  A I 5 min per sample Corals are often difficult to identify from unprepared hand specimens.  Thin slices or acetate peels of corals make identification much easier. Drawing corals  A 5 min per coral Corals are difficult to draw. It is better to get students to draw thin sections of corals and to label the important diagnostic features.
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Earth Science Activities and Demonstrations