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Rainbow Trout

Find out about fish and the different environments fish live in; then design a painted stuffed fish for a biodiversity exhibit.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Provide opportunities for students to study reefs and the types of fish that live in this environment.
    2. Students work in teams of two or small groups to research the anatomical similarities and differences among fish species. Organize text and electronic resources for students to view during this research.
    3. Once research is complete and well-organized, provide a large piece of paper for student groups to create an outline of a specific species of fish, showing anatomical features researched. Students can use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to create this illustration.
    4. Use Crayola Scissors to cut out the fish illustration. Students place the large cutout on top of a second sheet of paper, trace around it, and cut out the second fish.
    5. Staple the two layers of fish together almost all the way around the edges, leaving a space unstapled at the bottom. Students use recycled newspaper to stuff their fish. This can be done by crumpling newspaper sheets into loose balls and pushing the balls gently into the opening. When the fish is slightly rounded, students staple the opening closed.
    6. After covering their workspace with recycled newspaper, students use Crayola Washable Kid's Paints to design colorful patterns on one side of their fish. Allow paint to dry overnight.
    7. Paint the opposite side of the fish. Allow time for paint to dry.
    8. Use Crayola Washable Glitter Glue to add sparkling detains to artwork. Allow time to dry.
    9. Exhibit student fish as part of a display on biodiversity, either depicting local or international fish habitats.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SCI: Construct a representation in which plants and animals depend on their environment and each other to meet their needs.

    SCI: Observe and compare the many kinds of living things that are found in different areas.

    SCI: Analyze a representation of a particular habitat showing the locations and shapes of both land and water features of that habitat and communicate how the land and water support animals and plants.

    SCI: Construct an explanation about the effect of environmental changes – whether slow or rapid – on the survival of plants and animals that live there.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Coral Reefs by Jason Chin; Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes; Coral Reefs: In Danger by Samantha Brooke; Coral Reefs: Picture Book by Planet Collection

    Organize a field trip to a local aquarium for the students. Ask an expert to prepare to speak with the class about the world's coral reefs. Students prepare questions for the expert and tour exhibits at the aquarium. Upon return to the classroom, students post learning to a class blog and/or discuss their new knowledge.

    Students work in teams to investigate the various types of trout or other fish found in their area. Interview fish and wildlife specialists, scientists, and/or fishery officials who know about their habitats and use of these fish. Discover if the habitats are changing and, if so, how. Also question what can be done to reverse the damage to bodies of water and fish populations.

    Students collaborate to create an outline map of the world, including all countries' borders. Students locate and identify coral reefs. Students include research about each of the coral reefs on the map.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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