Aquarium Art (3rd)

Teachers Sample
(Although it's missing its fish) *Woops
So for this one I started out with a PowerPoint which looked at a topographical map of Georgia. We talked about how Georgia has lots of lakes and rivers (which are freshwater) and has a coastline (saltwater) too! Then we examined the difference between the fish that lived in each. We found that the fish found in Georgia's freshwaters were often browns/greys/whites in color and that many of the fish found near Georgia's saltwater coast have more variety in color (blues, reds, etc). I asked students why they thought this was and surprisingly had a lot of students suggest it was because of the fish' need to camouflage in their environments to hide from predators! They're so smart! :D
So I set up a "river/ocean" in the front of my room (with blue butcher paper) and scattered out some color fish printouts that I cutout and attached paperclips to. Students "went fishing" (with a pole with a magnet attached to a fishing line) and selected a fish. Then they went back to their desks and drew their best version of their fish.. and then on the back of a paper plate wrote at least 3 facts about their fish (I had attached about a paragraph of info on the back of each fish).
Red Snapper
The next day we came in and I gave each student a piece of aluminum foil. Students cut a circle the same size as their plate out of the foil and glued it to the inside of their paper plates. A background was then added onto the foil with colored sharpies.
The next day we came in and students were given a second paper plate (this one was a little heavier than the first) and they painted the outer ring of their plate silver (for the outside of their aquarium). Then we put these on the drying rack and met on the carpet to read Eric Carle's "Mister Seahorse." This book has GREAT illustrations and really plays off the idea of fish camouflaging into their environments. Once we were done, students went back to their desks and were given a piece of transparency paper and were asked to draw something for their fish to camouflage behind.
The next day students came in and cut out the middle part of their silver-painted plate and hot-glued (okay.. well I hot-glued) their transparency papers (clear plastic) onto their silver rings.
Then students cut out their fish drawing and taped a piece of fishing line to the back of it. A bead was tied to the other end. Then it was time to assemble the aquariums! The fish was placed on the foil background with the string/bead hanging off the plate. The cover was then sat on top and stapled to the back plate (two staples on the top to trap the fishing line and one on the bottom). I left the sides of the aquarium un-stapled so if the students fish got stuck they could slide their hands in and readjust them.
If this project description sounds at all confusing - I apologize. There's a lot of steps and I didn't really want to bore you with every single detail.. but if you have an specific questions - feel free to ask! :)

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