Lesson 1: Setting up your Fish Friends Tank
Check out this video on how to set up your Fish Friends Tank! We have tried to make this as easy to follow as possible, but if you have any issues during your tank set up, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
This is a great opportunity to watch this video with your class and have them assist you in setting it up! Students will learn about why we use filters, what temperature the eggs should be kept at, why the rocks are important, and why we cover the tank in Styrofoam.
Class Activity: Design your own tank cover! Lots of schools Styrofoam covers are old and dingy- we are looking for new designs that we can custom order to help jazz up your tank! Once your class is finished with the design for the front of the tank, send the picture to us and we’ll take care of it from there! Don’t have any Styrofoam for your tank? Let us know, and we can help you out!
Lesson 2: Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility
The students will be introduced to the concept of habitat by first examining their own world, where they live, play and go to school. They then design a research task to determine the diversity of living things that share their habitat. They will apply their understanding of the concept of habitat in future lessons. The students will also learn about where their Fish Friends eggs came from- the Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility!
1. My Home Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. Beginning principles on the concept of “habitat”, where students draw their own house, and then create riddles on different types of habitat!
2. My Habitat Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. A writing assignment in which students will expand on the concepts of habitat to examine the world around them.
3. What I Know About Salmon Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. This is a writing assignment to see how much students already know about Atlantic salmon! By the end of the unit, educators can see how much students have learned over the course of Fish Friends!
4. If I Were A Salmon Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. A writing assignment designed to inspire imaginations! Students will write about what it would be like to be an Atlantic salmon, incorporating key words from a word box.
Lesson 3: Habitat
In this lesson, the students will apply their understanding of habitat from the previous lesson to the habitat of a fish. Through a reading activity, they will reflect on how the needs of fish are met. They are encouraged to make comparisons with their own needs and habitat.
1. A Day In The Life of a Salmon Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. Teachers can read the story aloud to the class and have all students participate in what they think happens next in the story. For older grades, students can write out the rest of their story.
2. Habitat Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. For younger grades, students can draw what they think their home habitat is like, and what a salmon habitat is like. For older grades, students can use the free space to write the comparison between their own habitats and that of salmon!
3. Aquatic Habitat Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. For younger grades, students can draw what the interactions between the 4 items and their habitats. For older grades, they can write the interactions between the 4 items and their habitats.
4. Environment Words Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students are challenged to make as many words as possible out of the word ‘environment’. For an added bonus, set a timer and see how many words they can come up with in a short time!
Lesson 4: Life in Freshwater
In this lesson, the students begin to examine biodiversity and its importance to survival of a habitat. They first describe the variety of organisms living in freshwater and then examine some of the interactions among them. A new concept is introduced in this unit, “biodiversity”, as biodiversity is important for the survival of living things in any habitat. In the absence of diversity, the loss of one or two key species can result in the collapse of all life in the habitat.
1. Diversity Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. For younger grades, teachers can ask students to name as many aquatic insects, types of fish etc and fill the sheet in as a class. For older grades, the students can write their answers into the sheets themselves.
2. Freshwater Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. Younger grades can color in the images, and older grades can fill in the missing blanks. This will be a great introduction to the water cycle!
3. Freshwater vs Saltwater Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. Students will identify the pictures if they are lakes, oceans, rivers, streams, or ponds.
4. What I Know About Rivers Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students are encouraged to write all that they know about rivers. This would make an excellent group activity, and then share the findings with the rest of the class!
5. My Life As a Salmon Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. A writing exercise, in which students are encouraged to use their imagination to talk about what their life would be like from birth, their travels, and different stages of their life- if they were a salmon! This is a great opportunity to build on story writing skills!
Lesson 5: Lifecycle of the Atlantic Salmon
All living things change over time. They grow and develop as they advance through the various stages of their life cycle. In some species there are distinct differences in appearance and habitat at different stages. Survival of the species depends on meeting basic life needs at all stages. We are going to take a look at the life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon!
1. Lifecycle Cut & Paste Activity Sheet- Grades K-3. This is a great introduction to the lifecycle through images of the various stages within the lifecycle, and the students then put them in order!
2. Lifecycle Size Sequencing Activity Sheets- Grades K-3. Print off multiple copies and cut out the squares. This can be a great group exercise where students have to put the eggs, fry, smolt, and adult salmon into size sequencing, from smallest to biggest in each life stage! Make it a timed game, and the fastest group wins!
3. Lifecycle Trace the Letters Activity Sheet- Grades K-3. This will help young writers learn to print the various life stages of the Atlantic salmon.
4. Lifecycle Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will have to cut out the squares, read the descriptions, and put the lifecycle in the right order! Great as a group exercise, especially with a time limit!
5. Lifecycle Needs and Threats- Grades 3-5. This is a writing exercise where students will have to assess the needs and threats of each life stage of the Atlantic salmon.
6. Salmon External Anatomy Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will have to cut out the key words, and then put them on to an adult salmon, highlighting the different body parts of the fish!
7. Salmon Internal Anatomy Cut & Paste - Grades K-5. Students will review the internal anatomy of a salmon, cut out the organs, paste them into the correct places, and finish by coloring your salmon! Older students can complete the secondary activity by writing down the function of the organs and adding which human organs are similar!
8. Salmon Anatomy Fill in the Blanks - Grades 3-5. Students will review the anatomy of a salmon (male & female) and then fill in the blanks on their own sheet! *Available to print in both color and black & white*
Lesson 6: Migration
Another type of change occurs when fish migrate from one habitat to another. Migration may be stimulated by a change in climate or season, or by life cycle changes. Therefore, in order to survive, migrating species must be able to meet their basic life needs in more than one habitat. Through a combination of a guided imagery activity and a mapping activity, students will trace the migration of a fish from its home river to the ocean and back to the river.
1. Migration Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will read about the migration patterns of Atlantic salmon and lamprey eels. They will then trace out the migratory routes of both species, and using the key, they will measure the distance of the migration. This is a great introduction to mapping and spatial awareness!
2. Amazing Migration Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will fill in the blanks and learn all about the migratory behaviors of Atlantic salmon!
3. Salmon Count Activity Sheet- Grades K-3. Students will count the number of eggs, alevin, fry, and adults they see on the page and enter their count into the boxes on the bottom!
4. Migration Verb or Noun- Grades 3-5. Students are provided with a list of words and must place them in the correct box if the words are either verb or nouns. Of course, they are all salmon-related words, too!
Lesson 7: Adaptation
Living things survive because they have characteristics which are suitable for their habitat. These characteristics are called adaptations and enable living things to meet their basic needs. Adaptations are passed from one generation to another through genetic material. When habitats change, living things will survive only if suitable adaptations exist or develop. Students first examine camouflage as a example of how some organisms have adapted to their environment. They then apply their understanding of adaptation in an activity which examines beaks and feet as examples of adaptations.
1. Adaptation Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will have to fill in the blanks on the different anatomy of a fish and how it pertains to the fish’s adaptation. They will also complete the “beaks and feet” activity and be challenged to explain why these differences cater to different adaptations!
2. Energy Adaptation Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. This is a great group exercise in which students will have to choose 2 different salmon life stages and determine the adaptations that occur and what the fish gets its energy from, and what it uses its energy for!
3. Salmon Addition and Subtraction- Grades K-3. As adaptation occurs, populations can increase and decrease, and this is a great chance to incorporate addition and subtraction!
4. Salmon Addition and Subtraction- Grades 3-5. More advanced addition and subtraction equations!
Lesson 8: Getting Redd-y!
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The students will create models to demonstrate how salmon build redds to protect their eggs from fast currents and predators. Students will determine how successful salmon redds are in protecting the eggs when compared to bare eggs.
1. Redd Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. This is a hands-on activity, requiring a few material items. A demonstration is also included in Lesson 8 video!
2. What Time Will The Eggs Hatch Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will have to learn to tell time in this activity!
3. Color The Eggs Activity Sheet- Grades K-3. A nice coloring sheet that will have students coloring salmon eggs different colors!
4. Salmon Can, Have, and Are Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. A writing exercise that will encourage students to list out what they think salmon can do, what salmon have, and what salmon are! This is a great opportunity to compare class answers at the end of the exercise!
5. Salmon Singular or Plural Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will have to determine if the words in the word box are singular or plural, and of course- they are all salmon-related words!
6. Salmon Facts Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. This would make a great individual or group exercise, in which students will read the sentences and fill in the blanks from a word box!
Lesson 9: Sustainability
Sustainable development, or sustainability, involves a holistic examination of the impact of our actions on the environment. Sustainability is more than environmental conservation; it also has economic and humanitarian dimensions. For a sustainable future, all dimensions of sustainability must be addressed. The students are introduced to the concept of sustainability within their own community. They examine how the people who live there meet their basic needs today and in the future. They will build on these fundamental principles of sustainability in later lessons.
1. Balancing Act Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will imagine Earth is a ball sitting on a stool with three legs. One leg is the environment, one is the economy, and one is people. If the three legs are not balanced, the ‘Earth’ will roll off the stool, and some living things may not survive the fall, and they will have to answer some questions!
2. Only The Strong Survive Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. This is a math-based activity sheet. For younger grades, the teacher can present the scenario in front of the class and assist with the mathematics. For older grades, students should be able to do the math, either individually or in groups.
3. Overfishing Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. A crossword puzzle focusing on overfishing and how that behavior is not sustainable!
4. Environment Unscramble Activity Sheet- Grades 3-5. Students will have to unscramble the words on the page- all of the words tie in with the theme of sustainability. Making this a race to see who can finish first is bound to be a fun time!
Lesson 10: Stewardship
To make informed decisions about our environment, we must be knowledgeable about the various dimensions of sustainability and prepared to participate in the decision-making process. To make informed decisions about our environment, we must be knowledgeable about the various dimensions of sustainability and prepared to participate in the decision-making process. Stewardship is an ethical value that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to the environment and nature, economics, health, property, information, theology, and cultural resources.
1. I Can Help The Earth Activity Sheet- Grades K-5. Students are encouraged to either write or draw the different ways they can become environmental stewards and help keep the natural world clean and healthy!
2. Sort the Trash Activity- Grades K-3. Students will cut out the items, and determine if they are recyclable, compostable, or garbage!
3. Stewardship Activity- Grades 3-5. Students are presented with 4 different environmental dilemmas that they need to solve. This would be a great group task, or you could take this activity one step further and turn the dilemmas into a debate!
4. Stop Overfishing Activity- Grades 3-5. Students will draft a letter to their fishing authority to persuade them to stop overfishing. Again, this exercise could be turned into a debate!
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Teacher's Guide (2023)
Updated Curriculum - Printable (2023)