Reader's Digest World Presents The Living Edens Palau-Paradise of the Pacific
Aquatic Classroom


Palau, Paradise of the Pacific: Fast Food, the Fish Way

Objectives of the Lesson
Background Information
Materials Needed For The Activity
Evaluation/Alternative Assessment
National Science Standards
Other Sites on Palau
Other Sites on Coral Reefs

Objectives of the Lesson:

At the completion of the lesson, the students will:

  1. Observe the way fish eat in The Living Edens: Palau program
  2. Model the two predation methods seen in the program
  3. Evaluate which method of catching food is more efficient
  4. Identify and explain adaptations of the sea creatures observed in The Living Edens: Palau

Background Information:

Different species find food in different ways. The Living Edens: Palau shows sharks eating by chasing, catching and biting. The program also shows fish swimming with mouths wide open to trap smaller prey in their gills. These are two examples of how sea creatures have adapted to their environment and survive through their specific adaptation.


Materials Needed For The Activity:

A copy of The Living Edens: Palau

  1. A paper cup for each group of 2-3 students
  2. An insect net for each group of 2-3 students (a net can be made using a metal coat hanger and old cheesecloth)
  3. A pond or a large plastic container with pond water
  4. Student science journals and pencils/pens
  5. Magnifying glass (hand lens) for each group of 2-3 students



  1. Ask students to design an experiment using the above materials. They will be attempting to discover the most efficient way to get food from pond water.
  2. Ask students to determine how many times they may need to test the cup and the net to catch life in the pond water.
  3. Ask students to determine which tool, (the cup or the net) catches the organisms in the pond water better.
  4. Ask students to use the hand lens to determine how many organisms they are catching in the pond water.
  5. Ask students to record the data collected in their science journals and offer explanations/conclusions derived from the data.


Evaluation/Alternative Assessment:

Ask students to share the design of their experiment. Have the class suggest ways that experiment design could affect results, and brainstorm alternatives.

Ask students to evaluate the two methods of capturing prey from the data collected and decide which works best. Discuss adaptations and how they affect the methods sea creatures use to capture food.

Ask the students to compare and contrast the plastic cup and net to the shark and the fish swimming open-mouthed in The Living Edens: Palau.

Ask students to explore other ways an organism might have captured food from the pond water. Ask students to design an organism whose adaptation enables it to capture food from the surrounding water. Have students present their organism to the class.

Ask students to determine other adaptations that sea creatures might have to catch food. Refer to the program The Living Edens: Palau for additional adaptations.

The experiment addresses these National Science Standards:

-identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations

-design and conduct a scientific investigation

-use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data

-think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations

-communicate scientific procedures and explanations

-develop understanding of structure and function in living systems

-develop understanding of diversity and adaptations of organisms


Other Sites on Palau:
Maps of Palau, supplied by the University of Texas
Republic of Palau, CIA Factbook
Look here for information on Palau's natural resources, government, topography, climate, demographics, and economy.
Palau Visitors Authority
The official Palau tourism site supplies information about diving, culture, history, and travel arrangements.
Beast of Eden
This Discovery Channel site focuses on the occupation of the Palauan island Peleliu during World War II. Interviews with soldiers, video clips, a slide show, and military history are featured.

Other Sites on Coral Reefs:
Reefs in Trouble
Mother Jones magazine sponsors this site on the world's endangered reefs. Learn why reefs are so important and what types of human activity jeopardize them.
Fisheye View
You'll find an excellent archive of video and still images of corals and fish at this site.

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