Step 2: Teach Lesson
Show the student the fishbowl or aquarium with the live goldfish. Have the student discuss what the fish will need to live
(food, DeChlor, clean water, net to catch them and a jar to put them in when changing water). Tell why each item is
needed and identify safety factors concerning fish. Explain that the fish will be in the home and the student will be feeding
the fish. Show the student how much to feed the fish (a pinch) and explain that more or less food would not be good for
Watch video or read Fish Out of Water
by P. D. Eastman.
Discuss factors which made the fish in the story sick; i.e., too much food, not enough water, no water. Have the student
discern fact from fiction by comparing the fish in the story with the real fish in the classroom. Ask, "What would happen if
someone dumped all the fish food in our fishbowl?" Let the student respond. Make sure he/she understands that the
whole container dumped in would not make the fish grow faster, but would make the water polluted. The fish could get
sick and even die. Explain that food is not the only thing that helps fish grow. Good, clean, healthy water is needed for
Assign the student the responsibility for feeding the fish and observing special needs like water changes, food
adjustments, moving out of the sun, etc. Tell the student the fish water can only be changed with adult supervision to
assure fish safety. Compare water pollution in the fishbowl (cloudy, smelly water with food and waste products floating in
it) to possible environmental pollution in streams and lakes. Ask, "How do our lakes and streams become polluted?" Give
the student situations, such as picnickers on a beach or fisherman drinking pop or other beverages while fishing. Ask,
"What would happen if they do not dispose of trash properly?"
This is an ongoing lesson so request monthly reports from the student regarding the wellbeing of the fish.