Coral Spawning Globe

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This activity models the mass coral spawning event that takes place at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary every August. The result is like a snow globe in which the “snow” floats up instead of down, and the scene is a model of a coral reef, complete with Christmas tree worms.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 24 plastic jars with screw on lids (8-10 oz. size)
  • Oil-based modeling clay
  • Watercolor paintbrushes with narrow handles (or other blunt ended tools of similar size)
  • 24 bump chenille stems
  • Scissors or wire cutters
  • Large mixing container (8 quarts or larger)
  • 24 cups of water
  • 8 tsp. (4 packets) Knox Original Gelatin (unflavored) -- other brands may produce different results
  • Spoon
  • Blue food coloring
  • 24 Tbsp. plastic stuffing pellets
  • Teflon tape (used by plumbers)


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
    • Heredity and Genetics

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • Public domain, NOAA,