Monday, November 1, 2010

Autumn Series #7: Fish Study

Outdoor Hour button

We began our study of  fish by reading a few books that gave us a firm background knowledge.  We read What is a Fish which went through the characteristics that make a fish a fish.  Then we read these.
I was surprised how hard it was to find any books that featured fresh water fish.
To focus in on Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon, I made preschool appropriate field guides.  I gathered the information from the New York state DEC website.

With our field guides in hand, we headed to the car to visit the Warren County Fish Hatchery in Warrensburg, NY.  I had made calls earlier in the week to confirm that they had Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon.  We arrived at a surprisingly picturesque setting.

The self guided tour began in the information building that displayed many interesting  photos and drawings of fish in various stages of life.

We then began the tour of the pools of fish.  The first pool featured Rainbow Trout.

We learned about on demand feeders, bug feeders, and aerators.

The boys particularly liked tripping the on demand feeder and watching the fish swarm.

Most of the fish that we observed were quite small.  It was hard to find distinctive differences between them.  We toured eight pools in all.  We saw Rainbow and Brown Trout, but no Atlantic Salmon.  Here are some Brown Trout.

We learned a lot about the various stages of life for a fish.

We also learned about whirling disease.  One of the brown trout seemed to have it.  The fish swam sideways and in circles.

When we returned home we colored the Rainbow Trout coloring page that I found for the boys.  I was disappointed that we didn't see any Atlantic Salmon.  We did read through the life stages in the coloring pages that were part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

The next day we were able to extend our study with a dissection of a Blue Gill.  A family member was able to catch us a few fresh fish to investigate.  First we painted the fish and made prints.  I feature that in the book and craft section of the blog.  We then washed the fish off and learned about the various features of the anatomy such as the eye, fins, gills, and scales.

Then we dissected the fish to learn about the other organs and their purposes.

We used an old diagram that I had made when I was teaching pubic school to help us identify the parts.

All in all I think the boys extended their knowledge of fish and enjoyed their "hour."

1 comment:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Wow...this was a great challenge for your family. I am so glad that you were at least able to see the trout at the hatchery. We saw some at our hatchery and it was feeding time and they do swarm. Thank you so much for sharing your OHC.