Let's Go Fishing

An integrated content/ Language Art lesson

Grade Level: Kindergarten through Third Grade

Topic: Fish

Objective: To introduce students to fish and use the fish theme as a vehicle to teach content in all subjects areas across the curriculum

Language Arts:



Social Studies:

Arts/ Humanities:

Physical Education:

Short i sound
Greater than/ lesser than
Parts of a fish
Fish Protection
Fish Conditioning
What do fish eat
Raising babies
Fish Habitat
Water Pollution
Bodies of Water

Swimming Strokes


Tap prior knowledge about fish
A)Create a personal Experience:

Present Mystery Story (see Making Inferences)

a. Provide a story template for each student
b. Read parts of the story and have students draw a picture/ and or a sentence based on the information given in each rectangle
c. When the story is finished, 6 boxes will be filled, discuss, compare
d. Collect stories for use in Language arts

B) Verbalize the experience:

Ask students to name other sea creatures that they did not draw
List the names on chart paper
Allow children to share experiences they have had at the beach, on a boat, swimming or fishing

Learning Strategies
Students recall relevant prior knowledge of fish



A) Show the facts

Read the story Fish is Fish

B)Explain the facts

Have students draw a picture showing other characters the fish could have been

Learning Strategies




A)Theory into Practice: Choose one or more from each subject

Language arts:

a. Fish story: Using the software "Easy Book Deluxe," have the students transfer their pictures and
sentences from the templates into a story of their own

b. Sea Crafts: Remind students that fish share the ocean with various human-made vessels. Ask
students to think of different kinds of sea crafts they might find on the ocean, and to describe what each craft looks like. Make a chart recording the responses.

c. Fishy pets: If any students have pet fish at home, invite them to bring in photos or drawn pictures andtell classmates about them. Ask students to describe what kind of fish they have, what the fish look like, and how they behave in a bowl or tank. Also have students explain what and when they feed the fish. Encourage classmates to ask questions about the pets. If possible, let students display their fish in class.

d. An ocean poem: Have each child write a poem about the fish in a story. An example:

The octopus is big.
It has eight long arms.
It shoots black ink.
Don't shake hands with an octopus!

Remind children their poems need not rhyme.

Have students copy their poem using a word processing program such as Claris, Kid Pix or Kid Works, enlarge the font to 24, add stamps from Kid Pix or graphics from Claris and print.

e. Letter Fish Language Arts game: see "Letter Fish" instructions for more information

f. "My Fish Book" skill practice: See "My Fish Book" sample for more information

g. Adventures with Vowels: Short i vowel sound. See page Adventures with Vowels for instructions


a. How long?: have the students use a ruler to measure the sizes of fish in the story. Ask the following questions:

Which fish is the longest?
Which fish in the shortest?
How long is the tad pole?

b. Fishy numbers: Have the students cut out pictures of different fish and other sea creatures from
magazines or newspapers. Children can work independently or in groups to create fish collages that demonstrate numbers from one to ten or one to twenty. Under each picture have them write a phase (such as "two fish") that identifies the number being demonstrated.

c. Greater than/Lesser than/ More/Less: Cooperative learning activity. Have students do catch the day activity. Give each a fish net packet, crocodile, catch of the day chart, pencil, and spinner. See Aims
"Catch of the day" instructions.
Camouflage: Cooperative learning activity. Prepare for each group of four 12 black fish, 12 red fish, 12 white fish, 12 newsprint fish, "watch" with a second hand, several sheets of want ads and activity sheet. Students will use paper fish cutouts to see the effect of camouflage on prey populations. See Aims "Gone Fishing" for instructions.

d. Fish out of water: Using the software "The Cruncher", students can be introduced to the use of a
spreadsheet. The tutorial is included within the software.


a. Information cards: Individually or in groups of three, have students choose one kind of fish or
another sea creature to learn more about. Using the internet search, have each student or group type in name and complete search. Have students draw pictures of their creatures on unlined index cards. Under mthe drawing, ask each student to write at least one fascinating fact they learned about their creature. Display the information cards or invite students to show their cards and read the facts aloud.

b. Fish protection: Talk about the way fish protect themselves from larger fish. Explain that in real life,fish and other water animals have many different means of protection.
The following samples may be used:

A flounder can change its color to match its surroundings.
Small fish called Wrasse swim in the mouths of big fish.
Sea horses protect themselves with their bony covering.
Scorpion fish have poisonous spines
Porcupine fish blow up their bodies like a balloon.
Electric eels stun their enemies with an electric shock.
Flying fish "fly" out of the water for protection.
Octopus shoot black ink at their enemies.

c. Fish conditioning: Can fish be trained or conditioned? Students can find out by conducting a simple experiment.
Have them follow these steps:

Stand by a fish tank. With a coin, tap on the side of the tank six times. What do the fish
Tap on the tank six more times, but this time feed the fish immediately after. What do
the fish do?
Every day for one week, tap on the tank six times and then feed the fish. What do the
fish do?
On the last day,tap on the tank six times, but do not feed the fish right away. What do
the fish do?
Results my vary, but the students are likely to find the fish can be conditioned to swim
to the top if the tank.

d. Ask a guest: Invite a visitor to class who has special knowledge of water animals, such as an
aquarium curator, a fish store owner, or a professional fisherman. Have student prepare for the visit by listing several questions to ask the guest before the presentation. If possible, arrange a class trip to the persons place of work and have the students tour the premises. Groups of students could be given an "Emate" or "Alpha Smart" and or "Quick Take" camera, to record feelings and take pictures.

e. What do fish eat?: Remind students that larger fish eat smaller fish. Help students learn more facts about eating habits of water creatures.
For example:

Starfish use tube feet to open a clam's shell, then push their stomachs into the shell to take the clam.
Baleen whales, having no teeth, strain food through the plates in their mouth.
A baby sea crab eats with eight pairs of jaws, and has teeth in its stomach.
The Angler fish attracts the fish it feeds on by using a light on the end of its nose.
A tiny one celled paramecium uses special hairs to sweep food into an opening in its body.Ask students to draw and label pictures illustrating these creatures and their eating habits. Or students may want to research other water creatures eating habits and illustrate those. The use of the internet or CD encyclopedia will be useful.

f. Parts of a fish: Display a large picture of a fish. Help students learn about the parts of a fish and how each part functions.

Facts to share include:

Scales are a protective covering for a fish.
Dorsal fins help the fish remain upright.
The gill opening allows water to pass out of the fish.
The gill cover protects the gill, which the fish uses for breathing.
The pectoral fin helps the fish stop and turn in the water.
The anal fin helps a fish stay upright.

The caudal fin propels the fish in the water and helps it steer.
Have students copy pictures of different fish and label the parts appropriately.

g. Raising babies: Explain to students that water animals have interesting ways of giving birth and
raising their young. Help them learn fascinating facts such as the following:

Sea turtles dig a hole in the sand and return to the ocean. The warm sun hatches the
The male seahorse uses his pouch to carry the eggs laid by the female. As many as 140
seahorses may be born at one time.
If a baby water shrew gets its mother upset, she eats it!

h. Field trips to Sea Life Park or the Aquarium: Don't forget to take along your "Emates", "Alpha Smarts" and Digital cameras.

Social Studies:

a. Bodies of Water: Talk about the places where fish can be found, including lakes, rivers, and oceans. Invite students to tell about visits they have made to any of these bodies of water. Use a map to identify the major lakes, rivers and oceans of the world. talk about the bodies of water that are closest to your community. Help students locate those bodies of water on a map.

b. Fighting pollution: Discuss the problem of pollution and how it affects our lakes, rivers, and oceans. Explain that many fish and other water animals get sick or even die from trash, such as soda cans and plastic bags, that we dump in our water.

Creative Art and Humanities:

a. Puppet Story: Have students draw pictures of the fish, rocks and seaweed that appear in the story
"Fish is Fish". Then have them cut out the pictures and paste a craft stick to each to create a hand puppet. Reread "Fish is Fish" or retell in your own words, while the students manipulate their puppets to act out the events of the narrative.

b. Sing a Song : Citizens of the Sea (To the tune of: Did you ever See a Lassie?) Divide the students into seven groups. As each sea creature is sung, have the group hold up the picture of their sea creature.

c. Boys Day Fish: Xerox the Boys Day Fish pattern and have students color, cut it out, glue the sides and stuff with paper. Tie with a string and attach it to a chopstick.

d. Ceramic Fish: have students draw or trace a fish including all the main parts. Pass out chunks of clay about a fist size. Using rolling pins or 1" dowels, roll clay between two rulers (make sure ends of the dowels remain on top of the rulers). Roll clay wide enough to place fish pattern on it, cut around pattern. Carefully place on board to dry. Curving the edges up slightly makes a nice spoon rest or standing it on its side when leather hard makes a nice table decoration.

e. Draw a word Fish: With the software "Kid Pix", your students can create a picture, using the name of the fish as the outline. See Sample.

Physical Education:

a. In the Swim: Remind students that fish are not the only animals able to swim. Talk about the
importance of people knowing how to swim, too. Invite volunteers who can swim or who are currently taking lessons to demonstrate the techniques that have learned. Have the rest of the class follow the leader as the perform the motions of swimming, including arm, leg and head movements.

Learning strategies

Observing Comparing Constructing
Predicting Collecting Organizing
Estimating Interpreting Graphing

Sequencing Apply


A)Observe students as they respond to "Fish is Fish" and other activities
B)Collect samples of student's completed work, pictures, poems and math
C)Arrange a conference time to talk with each student about what they had learned or have students write about it.
D)Have students keep their own reading log, listing books related to fish
E)Have students verbally identify parts of fish or provide a simple test
F)Observe if students work cooperatively during cooperative learning activities

Learning Strategies




A) Students create, improvise:

Fish mobiles: Have students draw and color pictures of fish or parts of a fish, and paste each picture on a sturdy piece of cardboard or construction paper. Punch a hole in the top of each paper, use yarn to string fish to a hanger, and display the mobile in the classroom.

B) Student brainstorm:

A new sea creature: Ask the students to imagine they are underwater explorers who have just discovered a new type of fish or sea creature. Have them draw a picture of their discovery. Under the picture, invite them to record one or more facts about their sea animal.
Details to consider include:
What is the name of your animal?
What is your animal's size and color?
What kind of ocean food does it eat?
How does it move in the water?
How does it protect itself from enemies?
Bulletin Board Activity: Draw a large fish bowl on the bulletin board. Reproduce the page that has the picture of the fish on white piecesof paper. Have each child color their fish before placing them in thefish bowl. Cut out letters that spell FISH TRIVIA. Have each child fill the closure and have them sign their names on the bottom.

Learning Strategies
Imagery Inference Long/ short term memory
Application Recall Prior Knowledge




Fish FAQ Keiko, The Killer Whale Waikiki Aquarium
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Watery World of Whales Whales: A thematic Web Unit
Kaiyakan United States Fish and Wildlife Service Austrailian Museum Fish Site