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- Jenna H., Teacher
Fish Teacher Resources
Find Fish educational ideas and activities
What do a dead fish, conservation, and paint have in common? The answer is a great lesson about fish anatomy, fun print making techniques, and unsustainable fishing practices. The class will start by making fish prints with a deceased fish and paint, they will discuss the functions of each part of the fish's anatomy as they label their prints. The art experience leads into a class discussion on overfishing, unsustainable fishing methods, and habitat destruction.
I love lessons that incorporate the arts, they're so engaging and address a more diverse set of learners. Your class will investigate the reasons fish from the coal reef have adapted such colorful fins. They design a fish that uses color to either signal something or as camouflage, then they take a trip to the California Academy of Sciences to see real coral fish in action. Upon returning to class, they discuss their observations and then write a clever haiku to accompany their images of fishy adaptation. Note: If you don't live in San Francisco, you can always take a trip to a local tropical fish store to view fish that would live on a coral reef.
Understanding the importance of sustainable fishing practices is fostered through a classroom game. In small groups, the class plays a fishing game where they can see first-hand, the effects of thoughtless fishing practices. After the game, they discuss ways the fishing industry could modify their techniques in order to maintain the current fish populations.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you can add art to any lesson plan! While little learners are discovering why fish have specific body parts such as, scales, fins, and gills, they start making three-dimensional fish forms. Children will use clay and a variety of common household items to sculpt their beautiful fish. The fish can act as a starting point for more discussion or can be labeled using pins and card stock. Tip: Making a fish might be difficult for very small children, use a fish cake or cookie mold instead.
How much do you know about the black guillemot of the Arctic region? With great background information, images, and a quick discussion, the class will learn all about the plight of the foraging seabird as they play a fun game. First, they discuss what they notice about the bird as they analyze images. Then, they watch a video showing how the bird acts in nature. Finally, the children play a relay-style game where they try to bring as many fish to their nests as they can. Several extension ideas and downloadable PDFs are included.
Thomas needs help with his fish tank! He wants to add a large decoration that will serve as a home for the fish in the tank. The decoration is a right solid cylinder with a hole through the middle in the shape of a right square prism. Thomas wants to make sure that the water in the tank won't overflow when he adds the decoration. Geometers use volume formulas for cylinders and prisms in this real-world problem that requires them to consider different interpretations of how the information is presented.
With a discussion and a brief film, introduce populations. Using paper fish models, your class participates in a simulation in which they survey numbers of fish. As a class, they tally up the different types. The challenge with this lesson is finding the time to cut out a myriad of paper fish. Perhaps a more time-effective way to carry out this population study would be to use a bucket of plastic toy animals or blocks, different-shaped pasta noodles, or construction paper circles (easier to cut out than fish). Count yourself lucky if you have a fish die-cut that you can use!
Colorful fish photos make this assignment attractive! Youngsters choose a breed of fish from the photo selection, and then compute the appropriate tank size for that breed. They use an expression to solve for the volume of the tank. While this lesson was designed for the Common Core, the facilitator notes do not go into detail about the required expression. Fortunately, one possibility is displayed on the attached worksheet. Make sure to review what an expression is and help the class derive one that is useful for solving the problem.
This resource is part of a series which expects participants to be familiar with graphing inequalities on a number line. It is a word problem that asks your class to graph a discrete solution set and interpret it in the context of an equation. Hook the fishermen in the room by discussing what equipment is needed for a day-long fishing trip.
Here is a 18-step progression activity that challenges individuals to build a regular rectangular prism with a total volume of 8 cubic units. They sketch a net for it, draw a three-dimensional figure of it, and make alterations according to suggested real-world scenarios. In it, they role play being a product company being hired to construct a fish tank that meets their requirements.
Young counters will enjoy this beginning addition activity; they get to color as they go! For each set of 10 fish they color some green and leave some white. Then, they fill in the blanks to create an addition sentence with the sum of 10. There are six of these sets (encourage kids color a different number of fish for each). Next, they complete 10 number sentences (again with 10 as the sum for each) and write in missing addends. They might catch onto a pattern here: the addends increase by one each time.
Any piece of art can be a jumping-off point for cross-curricular lessons or discussions. "Wine Jar with Fish and Aquatic Plants" is a beautiful piece that hails from China; learners will use it as they engage in three different activities. The write a story about the fish on the jar, create a naturalists notebook, and make an illustrated map of the Silk Road depicting how these jars were transported in the past.
Approach addition with young mathematicians in an engaging way through this penguin-inspired activity. In small groups, scholars think about times they have used addition in their real lives (there are some suggestions given), then watch you model addition using pictorial representation. They practice this skill at math stations, starting with a fun art project creating an ice fishing penguin. Use 10 fish to show an addition sentence, with some on top of the ice and others swimming. There are ideas for four stations, the last of which requires internet access to play an interactive addition game. There is some extensive preparation required for this lesson.
Here is a cute lesson that incorporates the lovely story Rainbow Fish and fine art analysis. Learners read the story, then examine the way goldfish are depicted in two different paintings. They analyze the way Matisse and Klee used color, shape, and line to create different representations of the same animal. The lesson culminates in an art project where kids make rainbow fish of their own, being sure to use some of the techniques found in both fine art pieces.