In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about fish. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Fish topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Fish
If possible, get a fish for a class pet. Have students research what the fish needs to survive and how to care for it. How much food should it get? Why should you change the water and how often should you do it? Look at helpful tips online about how to keep fish healthy. What precautions should you take when choosing items to add to your tank? Create a schedule to divide the caring responsibilities among students in your class.
Have small groups or pairs research various fish together and pay special attention to the fins of different species. Students may want to draw pictures of the fish and write a description or create a slideshow using images from the Internet, then present their findings to the class. How are the fins of a goldfish different from the fins of a shark? Have students pay attention to fin shape, size, location on the body, and the number of fins. How might the fins of a bluefin tuna be suited to swimming quickly? Have students make inferences and predictions.
Have students research different endangered fish species and choose one as a subject for a presentation or poster. Students should describe the fish, its habitat, and explain why it is endangered. Have students also explain ways to help protect the fish and raise awareness. You may want to share the <a href=”http://www.brainpopjr.com/topics/extinctandendangeredspecies”Extinct and Endangered Species movie for inspiration and to build background knowledge.
Many species of fish are covered in scales. There are several different types of scales and they vary in pattern and color. Study fish scales with your child. You can research photos on the Internet or go to an aquarium, pet store, or even a fish market to observe different fish scales. How are they alike? How are they different? Why might some fish have gray or light-colored scales? Your child may want to bring a notebook or a camera to take notes, draw pictures, or take photos. Analyze the scales together.
Fish Food Chain
Remind your child that fish are part of many different food chains. You may want to watch the Food Chain movie for review. Then have your child research to come up with a food chain that involves different species of fish. For example, your child may start with plankton, which are consumed by anchovy, which in turn are consumed by bluefin tuna. Larger predators such as sharks feed on the bluefin tuna. Encourage your child to draw pictures and write descriptions to accompany his or her food chain. What might happen if the bluefin tuna became endangered? Discuss with your child.