This is the second in a unit series on animals. We will be learning about mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles with about four -six weeks per animal type. I started out wanting to study animals that we find around the house…and we did. But then I couldn’t help myself but add more fun, intriguing animals!
The objectives come from the Core Knowledge Series-kindergarten and first grade.
• Animals, like plants, need food, water, and space to live and grow.
• Plants make their own food, but animals get food from eating plants or other living things.
• Offspring are very much (but not exactly) like their parents.
• Most animal babies need to be fed and cared for by their parents; human babies are
especially in need of care when young.
• Pets have special needs and must be cared for by their owners.
• Living things live in environments to which they are particularly suited.
• Specific habitats and what lives there, for example:
Water [fish, oysters, starfish]
• The food chain: a way of picturing the relationships between living things
Animals: big animals eat little ones, big animals die and are eaten by little ones.
• Diversity of ocean life: from organisms too small for the eye to see (plankton), to
• Dangers to ocean life (for example, overfishing, pollution, oil spills)
1. The most obvious activity is to go to an aquarium.
2. Make coffee filter fish. (Read Rainbow Fish first.)
3. Why do fish school? Fill a jar with warm water. Add some glitter glue and swirl it around. Have the kids try to keep their eyes on ONE piece of glitter. Explain why it is hard and relate it to why fish travel in schools.
4. Fishy Bodies – Use modelling clay or play dough to form fish bodies (See picture towards the end.) Attach string and then have the kids pull the fish body through the water. Discuss which bodies “swim” easier.
5. Buy a goldfish. They are cheap! Great observations can take place with this. Ours now sit in the middle of the kitchen table. Not only have we learned about fish, but the kids have learned about being responsible for pets.
6. Journal- RB wrote 2 sentences about each fish we studied. Sweet Cheeks wanted to begin her journal, so I had her glue in a picture and write the name of the fish.
Fish by Ted O’Hare
Oceans by Johnna Rizzo
Everything Sharks by Ruth. A Musgrave
Fish by Sarah Wilkes
River by Sean Callery
What’s It Like to Be a Fish? By Wendy Pfeffer
Animals Called Fish by Bobbie Kalman
Amazing Sharks! by Sarah L. Thomson
About Fish by Cathryn Sill
Life in a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer
Weird Sea Creatures by Laura Marsh
Fishy Tales by DK Readers
One Night in the Coral Sea by Sneed B. Collard
Exploring the Deep, Dark, Sea by Gail Gibbons
Ocean by Dr. Frances Dipper
Fish by Bev Harvey
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark by Deborah Diesen
Fish School by Nancy Poydar
Rainbow Fish and the Whale by Marcus Pfister
My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki
Trout, Trout, Trout by April Pulley Sayre
Cat and Fish by Joan Grant
Fish Had a Wish by Michael Garland
Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck
Sophie’s Fish by A.E. Cannon
Big Al and Shrimpy by Andrew Clements
More will be added as I cycle through this topic again in the coming years.