More than Just Fish!

July 16, 2010 at 2:41 PM Leave a comment

by: Jennifer Perez

(Featured on Charmingly Chandler)

Are you looking for ways to get the kiddos engaged in something besides the television this summer?  I’ve got the perfect summer activity that will provide you with FIVE days of educational lessons integrating: Research, Reading, Math, Art AND Writing!  Intrigued yet??  Let’s go to the Aquarium where it’s More than just Fish!

Day 1: Research

First things first…break the exciting news to your child that you all will be visiting the Aquarium!  Together, look up your local Aquarium on the Internet and research/read about some of the different aquatic life that you will be visiting.

A few favorites may include:

  • Fish
  • Penguins
  • Sea Otters
  • Stingrays

Once the research/reading has been completed, decide which exhibits /shows are a MUST see for your trip!  Remember to charge that camera because you will be taking photos of some fabulous fish finds which will be printed and used in a few short days!

Day 2: Visit the Aquarium

Today is Aquarium Day!  Thanks to the research that has already been done, you and your child now know what exhibits/shows are a MUST see.  Browse through each tank and encourage your child to read the plaques that pose some interesting facts/information.  Depending on the age of your child, strongly suggest they take pictures of the most intriguing things that they see!  (Without realizing it, your children will be reading and collecting data for a later project!)

Make this a memorable visit ~ compare fish, coral reef, make sketches….the possibilities are endless!

(After your visit, develop the photos from the day.  These photos will be used in Days 3 and 4.

Day 3: Math ~ Graph the Fish Finds

What you will need:

  • Photos
  • White construction paper/Computer paper
  • Pencil/Markers

Creating a graph will be fun using the photographs from your Aquarium visit!

First, spread out all of the photos on a flat surface.

Next, help your child sort the photos into as many categories as you’d like. (Aquatic life, colors, etc…)

Then, with this new data, create a graph that will represent the categories you just created.

-Aquatic Life: fish, sea horses, stingrays, penguins

-Colors: red, blue, yellow, transparent

**Draw the graph onto the construction paper.  Once the graph has been completed and checked for accuracy, help your child add some color to it with markers!!  See, Math can be fun!

Day 4: Art ~ Under the Sea Poster (with captions)

What you will need:

  • Photos taken at the Aquarium
  • White/Blue Poster Board
  • Glue
  • Markers

This Art activity will promote reading and writing while allowing your child to show their creative side!  Assist your child in choosing their Top 10 most exciting/most interesting photos. Once they have been chosen, let your child’s creativity begin to flow!!

Ask them to arrange the photos and glue onto the poster board however they would like!  (Allow space in between the photos.) While this is happening, strike up some meaningful conversation to help reflect on the trip and lessons:

  1. What aspects of the Aquarium did you enjoy?
  2. Why did you choose these 10 photos?
  3. Tell me about something you learned by visiting the Aquarium.

Once the glue has dried, brainstorm with your child appropriate captions for each photograph. (A caption describes what is in the photograph!) Afterwards, have your child write each caption underneath the appropriate photograph.

Challenge: Create at least two captions with rhyming words.

Day 5: Writing

After four full days of lessons, today is the perfect day to have your child reflect on the week.  A reflection is simply someone’s thoughts, likes, dislikes and feelings.  A few ways to get your child started may be:

  • What did you enjoy about this week?
  • Would you like to return to the Aquarium? Why or why not?
  • Which activity/lesson was your favorite?
  • What would you like to do the next time we visit the Aquarium

After your child has had an opportunity to reflect, as them to write their reflection on a sheet of paper.  This paper may then be glued to the back of the Art project and serve as a reminder of the week!!

Happy Learning!

© Jennifer Perez 7/12/10

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