Games, Rivers, Seas and Oceans

Chase in the coral reef

Coral reef is shaped like a roller or a stone ridge. It can be located in shallow sea or ocean water, or stick out of water. The biggest coral reefs are in clean, shallow, tropical and subtropical water, where a lot of sunlight is. The biggest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, is about 2300 km long. Coral reefs create a comfortable environment for a lot of animal species. Despite the fact that coral reefs take up only about 0,1% of oceans surface, they are a living place for 25% of all oceanic species. The reef isa source of shelter, breeding places and food for them. Inhabitants of coral reefs are more than 4k fish species, 700 coral species and thousands other plants and animals, among others: sea turtles, sea snakes, cnidars, molluscas, crustaceans, sea birds, including albatrosses, terns and northern gannets. As you can probably imagine, such variety is constant movement, changes, dependency network. Sea food chain in the coral reef is also movement of different organisms, trying to find food e.g. small fishes looking for clams, fishes are eaten by octopuses and octopuses are a source of food to sharks.

In the movement game, you will turn into a coral reef in a moment.



  • Familiarizing children with the complexity of the coral reef

Time: 15 minutes


  • A lot of space, preferably a meadow
  • A whistle
  • A picture “food chain of the coral reef”, appendix.2.1 (optional)

Task flow

    1. Kids form a few columns, one after another, but with enough distance in between each other to be able to hold hands with their arms spread as much as possible. (It can be easier to place the kids according to lattice pattern – kids stand on the cross points of the lines). Kids create the coral reef. Two of the kids stay outside the scheme. One of them is an octopus and the other is a shark.
    2. A teacher goes in front of the group and explains that:

    – kids stand facing the teacher and hold hands

    – the octopus will be running=swimming😊 in between kids, and the shark will try to catch it. It is forbidden to run underneath linked arms of the kids!

    -When there’s:

    -one whistle (teachers signal), kids let go of each others hands and turn 90o to the right and hold their hands again

    – two whistles (teachers signal), kids let go of each others hands and turn 90o to the left and hold their hands again

    1. The game lasts until the shark catches the octopus.

This post was created as part of a project co-financed by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt in cooperation with Naturschutzzentrum Oberlausitzer Bergland.