For our second week of school we studied fish. Specifically we focused on freshwater fish, but we did not limit ourselves. One of our goals for the week was to buy some new fish for our ten-gallon tank. We took a field trip to AquaTek, where we saw several kinds of both freshwater and saltwater fish. The largest fish we saw was about 8 inches long, and the most expensive fish were over $100! The staff was a great resource in helping us to pick out some new fish. We bought 3 white cloud fish, two assassin snails and one adorable bristle-nose pleco (an algae eater).
In the classroom, we researched all kinds of fish using our encyclopedias, books about fish and the internet. We discovered one of the largest freshwater fish in the world: the arapaima of Brazil. This fish has been hunted for its supposedly tasty flesh to the extent that it is now unusual to find such long specimens, but some have been caught that measured between 7 and 8 feet long.
We discussed smaller fish, where they live, what they eat and how they fit into their ecosystems. On a visit to Waller Creek, which runs along our schoolyard, we observed the tiny fish swimming in the few puddles left in the nearly dry creek bed. We collected specimens of algae for later observation.
Some of our favorite books are the Rainbow Fish books, by Marcus Pfister. After reading them all, we made our own beautiful fish.