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Okay after some thought and borrowing some ideas from another lesson I found I came up with this lesson for my 5th and 6th grade class. Please look it over and see if any other suggestions or comments you would like to make. In the next lesson I am thinking about having the students research different types of freshwater fish so they can give customers advice about stocking their tanks and which species of fish are compatible with each other. They could put together another pamphlet that had information about the different types of fish. I want to eventaully get to water testing. I have some great ideas of things we can do concerning water quality.

Crescent Valley Fish and Fins

Brief description

The students are preparing to open a fish store. As partial owners in this new fish store it is important the students are able to offer customers advice, solutions to a variety of situations, and correctly answer customer's questions. The students will prepare a handbook that will be helpful for someone new to keeping fish.

Behavioral Objectives

1. The student can respond to an imaginary customer inquiry providing the customer with 80% accurate advice.

2. The student submits a fish owner's handbook detailing how to care for and set up an aquarium.

Key Words

Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate

Materials Needed

Aquarium books Paper
Internet Access Customer Letters

Activate Prior Knowledge
Start a classroom discussion about pets. Discuss what is necessary in order to properly take care of your pets. Discuss who you could talk to if you have questions about caring for one of your pets.

Lesson Plan
As new owners in a fish store it is really important for us to learn how to care for and set up aquariums. We are going to use a variety of sources to help us become more informed. I have several books about aquariums and we can utilize a number of web sites to help us. In order to help keep all of this information organized I suggest you consider taking notes, putting together a small journal, or placing all of the information into a folder.

After researching information about setting up a new aquarium, I would like you to put together a small pamphlet or handbook you can give to your customers about setting up a new aquarium. The pamphlet or handbook should have all the steps clearly labeled and/or numbered. It should include at least one diagram. The diagram(s) should be properly labeled.

To gain insight into what you have learned I will send each of you a letter from a customer. You are to respond to the customers questions and give them accurate advice as to what they should do.
 

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Sounds pretty cool. I can't really think of anything more you could add. Maybe you could create a list of fish. Some kids don't understand that saltwater and freshwater are 2 different things.
 

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It would also help them if they were able to set up an actual aquarium as a class. This would give them hands-on knowledge and a chance to get advice from you as an experienced aquarist.
 

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An in-class aquarium would be fantastic. Some of the smaller Eclipse setups come with anything you'd need and are moderately-priced. It might also be good for kids to learn about ideal mixes of fish. Community vs. aggressive, etc. as well as the inch-per-gallon rule of thumb. Just some suggestions :D
 

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Hey if they're opening a fish store then get in a good math and money lesson by having them put together a list of prices for the pamphlet. Nowadays they can find all that stuff on the www or you can assign arbitrary prices to stuff.
 
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