One of the first fish in our saltwater tank is the Green Chromis Damsel Fish. The Damsels are one of the strongest fish, and are the fish that help the Nitrogen Cycle occur in the tank. They help prepare the water for the other fish to come.
As we have begun preparing our tank, we have had a few fish casualties. We take these opportunities to learn about the fish, because after all, this is the children’s fish tank, and they are a part of every part of the process.When the children saw the damsel at the bottom of the tank, they asked Coach Chip to get it out. Once he brought it out, we put it on a piece of foil and took a closer look at it. We began discussing the anatomy and asking the children to name the parts of the fish they knew. We used diagrams of the fish to help us read and identify the parts that we didn’t know. The children worked on reading and labeling their own diagrams.
We used the microscope in class to take a closer look at the fish. We were amazed to see spots on the skin of the fish, that we were not able to see with our own eyes. We saw small “spikes” on the edge of the fish, and we were able to see the fish scales. Young children, particularly those between three to eight years of age, learn best through doing. Abstract thought and concepts are difficult for them to grasp because they primarily learn about the world around tehm by experiencing it through their senses. For this reason it is important to focus science lessons around things they can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell so that they are continually immersed in science as they discover all sorts of new and different things about he world around them, how things work, and about themselves and others.